Saint Paulin de Nole
Issu d'une des plus nobles et plus puissantes familles romaines, Meropius Anicius Paulinus était à vingt-cinq ans gouverneur de la province de Campanie. Il avait environ trente ans quand il épousa une chrétienne espagnole nommée Teresa. Un fils leur naquit qui mourut au bout de huit jours. Paulin se mit alors à approfondir le christianisme qui, peut-être, pensait-il, remédierait à son affreux chagrin. Il reçut le baptême en 390, le sacerdoce en 394. Ils étaient entrés, sa femme et lui, dans la voie des conseils évangéliques. Ils vendirent au profit des malheureux leurs immenses propriétés d'Espagne, de Gaule et d'Italie, ne gardant que celles qu'ils avaient à Nole, près du tombeau de saint Félix. C'est là qu'en 394, ils se retirèrent pour le reste de leur vie. Ils élevèrent à saint Félix une splendide basilique, flanquée d'une construction dont le bas servait d'hospice aux pèlerins et l'étage de couvent à Paulin et à ses disciples. Toutes les cellules donnaient sur le maître-autel de l'église; on se relevait la nuit pour chanter matines. On jeûnait souvent. Le maître continuait d'écrire et cultivait un jardin. Teresa dirigeait la maison. En 409, Paulin se laissa nommer évêque de Nole. Avec un tranquille héroïsme, il défendit son petit troupeau contre les Goths pillards et tueurs qu'Alaric avait laissés dans le pays après le sac de Rome (410). C'était un homme de cœur, affectueux et fidèle. Il eut de nombreux amis dont saint Martin, saint Ambroise, saint Augustin, Sulpice Sévère, l'empereur Théodose et le pape Anastase. Il leur adressait des lettres charmantes et des vers. Prudence et lui sont les derniers en date des poètes latins.
"Bordeaux a toujours témoigné un fidèle souvenir à Paulin. Une rue porte son nom. Deux églises du diocèse lui sont dédiées. Des travaux importants ont vu le jour en son honneur à Bordeaux. Par saint Paulin le christianisme bordelais se rattache à celui de l'âge patristique." (Histoires de la sainteté en Gironde - diocèse de Bordeaux - texte en pdf)
Paulin de Nole, un évêque contemporain de saint Augustin, a été le thème de la catéchèse du 12 décembre 2007. Traçant son portrait, Benoît XVI a d'abord rappelé que Paulin, issu d'une famille aristocratique d'Aquitaine (France), avait d'abord été gouverneur de la Campanie (Italie) où il avait brillé par sa sagesse. Au contact de la foi ardente de la population il entreprit un cheminement vers la conversion au christianisme, qui fut rempli de difficultés et d'épreuves.
Sa rencontre avec le Christ, a ensuite souligné Benoît XVI, fut l'issue d'un long processus durant lequel il prit mesure de la caducité des choses. Marié il eut la malheur de perdre un fils nouveau né, après quoi lui et son épouse distribuèrent leurs biens aux pauvres et décidèrent de vivre fraternellement, avant de fonder une communauté monastique. Devenu prêtre, Paulin se distingua par sa grande attention envers les pauvres, et laissa une image de pasteur charitable.
Sa conversion, a rappelé le Saint-Père, "frappa ses contemporains... qui lui reprochèrent son détachement des biens matériels et l'abandon de sa vocation littéraire". A ces critiques il répondait que son détachement ne signifiait pas du mépris pour les biens terrestres mais que leur usage devait servir à la finalité supérieure de la charité... Une nouvelle vision des choses guidait désormais sa sensibilité", a ajouté le Pape. "C'était la beauté du Dieu incarné, crucifié et ressuscité".
"Si saint Paulin de Nole n'a pas écrit de traités théologiques, ses poèmes et sa riche correspondance montrent une théologie vécue, pétrie de la Parole de Dieu comprise comme éclairage de la vie". Puis le Saint-Père a rappelé que les écrits de Paulin "insistent sur le sens de l'Eglise comme mystère d'unité et de communion qu'il vivait principalement dans une pratique aiguë de l'amitié spirituelle... On est impressionné de voir avec quelle chaleur ce saint évêque chantait l'amitié comme manifestation du corps du Christ animé par l'Esprit".
"La théologie contemporaine -a conclu Benoît XVI- a trouvé dans le concept de communion la clé de lecture du mystère de l'Eglise. Le témoignage de Paulin de Nole aide à percevoir l'Eglise telle que la présente le Concile Vatican II, c'est-à-dire le sacrement de l'union avec Dieu et de l'unité du genre humain".
Source: VIS 071212 (390)
Mémoire de saint Paulin, évêque. De famille patricienne, il reçut le baptême à Bordeaux, abandonna le consulat et, de très noble et très opulent qu'il était, il se fit pauvre et humble pour le Christ, et s'établit à Nole, en Campanie, près du tombeau du prêtre saint Félix, pour suivre son exemple. Il mena là, avec son épouse Thérèse et des amis, une vie d'ascèse. Devenu évêque de Nole, il se fit remarquer par son érudition et sa sainteté, bâtit un hospice pour les pèlerins et vint en aide aux pauvres. Il mourut en 431.
Martyrologe romainSOURCE : https://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/1371/Saint-Paulin-de-Nole.html
SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_paulin.html
Linz Cathedral ( Upper Austria ). Gothic revival stained glass window showing Saint Paulinus of Nola.
Linzer Dom ( Oberösterreich ). Neogotisches Buntglasfenster mit Darstellung des heiligen Paulinus von Nola.
Statua di San Paolino da Nola sita in via Ottaviano Augusto a Nola
Saint Paulin naquit à Bordeaux, en une année qui a de grandes chances d'être 353. Paulin appartenait à la plus haute noblesse de l'Empire. Son nom même, selon l'usage, le disait à tous. Nous avons actuellement des formes et des usages qui révèlent la splendeur de la race. Chez les Romains, ces formes n'étaient pas les mêmes, mais elles existaient aussi bien que chez nous. A sa naissance, Paulin fut appelé : Meropius Pontius Anicius Paulinus. Le mot important ici était Anicius. Les Paulins étaient une branche de l'antique gens Anicia, dont le poète Claudien avait dit que ses aïeux se comptaient par des fastes consulaires. Paulin lui-même ne démentira pas la tradition. Il sera consul, lui aussi, comme tant de ses ancêtres. Cette branche de la gens s'était établie, en Aquitaine, à une date que nous ignorons. Ils y possédaient d'immenses domaines, qu'on appelait alors des villas, tout remplir d'esclaves, avec de riches résidences, ornées de mosaïques, de statues innombrables, de marbres races, de très beaux meubles en bois précieux. Les maîtres de ces énormes propriétés vivaient alors dans le luxe et le plaisir en occupant leurs loisirs à la chasse, à la pêche, à de nombreuses réceptions, dans lesquelles, entourés d'amis et de clients, ils discutaient sans fin de littérature ou de politique.
Né dans un tel milieu, Paulin reçût une éducation très soignée. On lui donna pour maître le poète le plus illustre de la région, le célèbre Ausone. Paulin apprit tout jeune à compter des syllabes, à rythmer des phrases avec élégance, à grouper des vocables rares. Il n'oubliera jamais les leçons d'Ausone, et il sera, plus tard, avec Prudence, le meilleur poète chrétien du temps.
Mais cela était pour l'avenir. Paulin n'était pas baptisé. Il ne le sera que dans un âge relativement avancé. Il allait d'abord traverser les honneurs. La mort de son père, en 377, le mit à la tête d'une fortune prodigieuse. Il devint membre d'office du Sénat romain. Dès 378, l'empereur Valens ayant trouvé la mort, à la bataille d'Andrinople, il fallut lui donner, en cours d'année, un successeur dans le consulat. On appelait cela un consul suffectus - consul subrogé. Le choix du Sénat serait tombé sur Paulin, mais c'était l'empereur Gratien qui avait seul le droit de faire cette nomination. Justement Gratien avait pris comme conseiller l'ancien précepteur de Paulin, Ausone. Gratien nomma donc Paulin, qui fit , dans Rome, une entrée triomphale, et fut conduit en grande pompe au Capitale, tandis que d'immenses largesses tombaient, par ses ordres, sur la plèbe romaine.
Il ne resta consul, selon l'usage, que jusqu'à la fin de l'année courante. Puis, il devint gouverneur de Campanie, où il possédait de vastes propriétés, comme en Aquitaine. Ce fut pendant son séjour en Campanie qu'il fut touché par la grâce, au sanctuaire de saint Félix de Nole, en 379. Mais cette conversion ne fut qu'un début. Il ne se pressa pas de se faire instruire, ni de se faire baptiser. Après une année en Campanie, il revint à Bordeaux, et se maria. Sa femme, nommée Terasia, appartenait à une très riche famille espagnole.
Paulin a connu alors ce qu'on nomme le bonheur humain. Il aurait pu poursuivre jusqu'à sa mort une vie paisible, honnête, charitable, mais fastueuse et somme toute presque banale. Mais Dieu avait sur lui d'autres pensées. Il fut touché par l'épreuve et son destin en fut entièrement changé et ennobli. Il perdit un fils. Il fut englobé dans une tragédie obscure, où la calomnie le déchira sans pitié, mais non sans péril pour sa vie même. Il vit alors le néant des choses. Il fut dégoûté des richesses qui ne font qu'exciter les jalousies et les haines. Il se tourna vers le Christ, en qui, déjà, il avait foi. Il se retira de tout, il s'adonna à la méditation, à la prière, se plongea dans l'étude des Écritures. Bientôt sa résolution fut prise et devint irrévocable. D'accord avec son épouse, il fut entendu qu'il la traiterait comme une sœur aimée, que toute leur fortune serait distribuée aux pauvres, que les domaines seraient vendus, que le dépouillement de tout ce qui n'est que terrestre serait complet. Cela ne pouvait se faire sans soulever dans tout l'empire une émotion et une admiration générales. C'est à l'enthousiasme suscité par de tels exemple, dans le peuple, qu'il faut attribuer l'élévation de Paulin au sacerdoce.
Il avait été baptisé, à Bordeaux, par son évêque, saint Delphin, en 389, deux ans après Augustin. Et dès 392, il devenait prêtre. Mais ordonné à Barcelone, le pays de sa femme, il s'empressa d'achever la liquidation de ses propriétés, pour venir s'installer à Nole, en Campanie, auprès de ce tombeau de saint Félix, où il avait trouvé la foi. Au cours des années fécondes, qui s'écoulèrent de 379, date de sa conversion, à 394, date de son installation à Nole, Paulin avait noué des relations épistolaires avec les personnages les plus saints de son temps : Martin, évêque de Tours, et thaumaturge renommé. Sulpice-Sévère, ami de Martin et son futur biographe, Ambroise de Milan, Victrice de Rouen. Quand il fut établi à Nole, ces relations continuèrent, au moins jusqu'à la mort des intéressés. Mais d'autres s'y ajoutèrent : lettres à Delphin de Bordeaux, à Augustin d'Hippone, à Alypius, ami d'Augustin, à Jérôme, exégète incomparable retiré à Bethléem. Des messagers parcouraient l'empire et partaient de Nole ou y revenaient leur mission accomplie. Les restes de sa fortune, Paulin les employait à ses études, à sa correspondance pieuse, à la charité surtout. Il avait fondé un hospice à Nole et il y vivait, dans la pauvreté volontaire et la pénitence, parmi les pauvres et les vieillards.
Chaque année, pour la fête de saint Félix, au 14 janvier, Paulin limait avec tendresse un poème à l'honneur du saint et ces panégyriques annuels de saint Félix, en vers, sont la part principale de l'œuvre poétique, parvenue jusqu'à nous. Poèmes et lettres, c'est tout cela qui représente pour nous l'héritage littéraire du saint.
Comme poète, il est bien le disciple d'Ausone en ce qu'il a le vers facile, élégant, gracieux. Paulin est moins original, moins coloré, moins vivant que son contemporain, le poète chrétien Prudence, mais il a du charme et de la douceur. Ses pièces sont courtes, car il manque de souffle, mais agréables, car il a beaucoup de cœur.
Étant donnés les usages du temps, il était à peu près inévitable que Paulin devint évêque. Il avait été ordonné prêtre, sous la contrainte du peuple, il fut sacré évêque, à Nole, cette fois, à peu près de la même manière. Mais il n'eut rien à changer à sa vie. Il continua à résider dans son hospice, à y lire et relire les Écritures, à y répandre des aumônes et des bienfaits de toute nature, sur tous ceux qui l'approchaient, à entretenir des rapports épistolaires avec les grands évêques de son siècle.
Sa fonction épiscopale consista surtout à déverser sur son peuple, sous forme d'homélies, sa science des Saintes Lettres.
Devenu évêque en 409, il ne devait mourir qu'en 431, un an après Augustin d'Hippone. Sa mort nous a été racontée par le prêtre Uranius. Il avait reçu la visite, in extremis, de deux évêque ses voisins. Il s'entretint avec eux dans un langage angélique et divin, puis il leur demanda de célébrer les saints mystères, au pied de son lit. Soudain il se mit à dire : A présent, je veux parler à mes frères Janvier et Martin, qui tout à l'heure, s'entretenaient avec moi, et qui m'ont annoncé qu'ils n'allaient pas tarder à revenir !
C'étaient saint Janvier, évêque de Naples, et saint Martin, évêque de Tours, qui venaient à sa rencontre, pour le conduire au ciel. Paulin passa cette dernière journée dans la prière. Le soir, il étendit les bras et prononça d'une voix lente : Paravi lucernam Christo meo, Domine, decantavi ! - J'ai préparé ma lampe pour le Christ, ô Seigneur, j'ai achevé de chanter ! ...
Il était dix heures du soir. Tout à coup, un violent tremblement de terre ébranla la cellule où expirait Paulin. Tous ceux qui l'entouraient tombèrent à genoux, épouvanté. Au dehors, cependant nul n'avait ressenti le séisme. Ce fut en cet instant que le pieux évêque rendit l'âme. Quelle mort et quelle entrée dans la vraie vie ! ...
SOURCE : http://missel.free.fr/Sanctoral/06/22.php
SOURCE : http://www.introibo.fr/22-06-St-Paulin-de-Nole-confesseur
Le 22 juin mémoire de notre Saint Père PAULIN, Évêque de NOLE
Notre Saint Père Paulin naquit à Bordeaux, vers 353, au sein d'une famille de la plus haute aristocratie romaine, qui possédait d'immenses domaines en Gaule, en Campanie et en Espagne. Il reçut une éducation raffinée auprès d'Ausone, le plus grand orateur de ce temps, et excella tant dans l'art poétique qu'il reste honoré comme l'un des plus grands poètes de la chrétienté latine. A peine parvenu à l'âge adulte, de hautes charges politiques lui furent confiées : il devint membre du Sénat, reçut la dignité de consul et même la charge de gouverneur de Campanie (380). Séjournant quelque temps en Espagne pour ses affaires, il y épousa la riche matrone Thérasia, puis revint s'établir sur ses terres d'Aquitaine, partageant son temps entre la gestion de ses affaires et les activités littéraires. La rencontre de Saint Victrice de Rouen (cf. 7 août) et de Saint Martin de Tours (cf. 11 nov.) qui le guérit d'une maladie à l'œil, ainsi qu'un pèlerinage au tombeau de Saint Félix à Nole, en Campanie, mais surtout la salutaire influence de Delphin, Evêque de Bordeaux, lui firent prendre conscience de la vanité de sa vie mondaine pour se tourner vers Dieu. Baptisé à Noël 389 par Delphin, il commença aussitôt à mener une vie ascétique et à se détacher des biens de ce monde.
Installé en Espagne pendant quatre années, il fut ordonné Prêtre contre son gré, à Barcelone, à la suite des pressions du peuple qui admirait ses vertus (393). Pendant ce séjour, la perte de son fils nouveau-né approfondit sa conversion et son renoncement au monde, et il commença à liquider sa fortune pour acquérir les biens célestes. « Moyennant toutes mes richesses, écrit-il, j'achetai le droit de porter ma croix; de tous mes biens terrestres, je payai l'espoir du ciel; car l'espérance et la foi valent mieux que les richesses de la chair ». Puis, rentrant en Aquitaine, il rendit la liberté à ses esclaves, ouvrit ses greniers aux pauvres et employa l'argent qu'il tirait de la vente de ses terres et de ses maisons au rachat des captifs et à l'assistance des déshérités. De là, il se rendit à Milan, où il rencontra Saint Ambroise (cf. 7 déc.) qu'il considérait comme son père spirituel, puis à Rome où l'admiration que lui portait un grand nombre pour sa conversion lui attira la jalousie de certains membres du haut clergé, et le pape lui-même le reçut froidement. Quant aux membres de l'aristocratie qui étaient restés païens, ils considéraient dette vie pénitente comme une extravagance et reprochaient à Paulin d'avoir privé l'Etat de ses services. Tandis que le saint était blâmé par tous les gens du siècle, il était loué par les hommes de Dieu : Saint Martin disait à son propos qu'il était presque le seul homme au monde à pratiquer tous les préceptes évangéliques, et Saint Jérôme lui écrivit pour lui prodiguer des conseils sur la vie ascétique.
Saint Paulin se retira alors à Nole, où il organisa, auprès de l'hospice qu'il avait fait construire pour les pèlerins pauvres lors de son premier pèlerinage, une communauté d'ascètes. Son épouse, avec laquelle il ne vivait depuis sa conversion que comme frère et soeur, s'installa à proximité et l'assistait dans toutes ses activités charitables. Dépouillé de tous ses biens, il portait un cilice de pénitent en poil de chameau, mangeait, le soir venu, un pain grossier agrémenté d'herbes et de légumes dans une vaisselle de terre, et s'adonnait avec ponctualité aux prières et aux hymnes, la nuit comme le jour. Chaque année, le 14 janvier, des foules de pèlerins venaient là pour célébrer la fête de Saint Félix dans la vaste basilique que Paulin avait fait ériger, avec un baptistère et de nombreux bâtiments pour assurer l'hospitalité. Mais la réputation de l'homme de Dieu attirait, elle aussi, tout autant les visiteurs, pieux aristocrates ou ascètes, comme Sainte Mélanie l'Ancienne et ensuite sa petite-fille Sainte Mélanie la Jeune. La retraite et la vie pénitente ne firent pas abandonner à Paulin son activité poétique, et il continuait d'entretenir une vaste correspondance avec les grands hommes d'Eglise de ce temps : notamment Saint Augustin, Saint Ambroise et Saint Sulpice Sévère, ainsi qu'avec de hauts personnages de Gaule et de Rome auxquels il inspirait les vertus évangéliques.
En 409, il fut consacré Evêque de Nole et dut remplir sa charge dans une période particulièrement troublée. L'année suivante, à la suite de la prise de Rome. les barbares pénétrèrent à Nole et arrêtèrent le Saint Evêque qui, confirmé par une apparition de Saint Félix, leur fit face courageusement. En prison, il éleva cette prière : « Seigneur, que je ne sois torturé ni pour mon or ni pour mon argent, car où sont tous mes biens Tu le sais. » On raconte qu'il se serait même livré en esclave aux barbares pour racheter le jeune fils d'une pauvre veuve". Résumant son activité de pasteur, son biographe écrit : « Il n'affecta pas de se faire craindre, mais il s'étudia à se faire aimer de tout le monde. Comme il n'était pas touché des injures qu'on lui faisait, rien n'était capable de le mettre en colère. Il ne séparait jamais la miséricorde de la justice, et s'il était obligé de châtier, il le faisait comme un père qui éduque. Sa vie était l'exemple de toutes les bonnes oeuvres et son accueil le soulagement de tous les éprouvés. Personne n'était éloigné de lui sans désirer s'en approcher, et personne n'avait le bonheur de lui parler sans souhaiter ne plus jamais se séparer de lui ». Les empereurs mêmes le tenaient en si haute considération qu'ils le convoquèrent à un concile tenu à Ravenne, pour qu'il tranche entre les deux prétendants à la succession du pape Zosime (419).
Les derniers jours du bienheureux étant arrivés, alors qu'il se trouvait atteint d'une violente maladie au côté, Saint Janvier et Saint Martin lui apparurent pour lui annoncer que sa délivrance était proche. Il célébra la Sainte Liturgie, sur un autel dressé près de son lit, avec deux Evêques qui étaient venus le visiter, et appela à la communion tous les pénitents qu'il en avait écartés, puis il adressa une fervente prière à Dieu, les mains tendues vers le ciel. Grâce à de l'argent providentiellement apporté par un prêtre, il fit ensuite rembourser la dette qu'il avait contractée pour faire confectionner des vêtements aux pauvres, puis, après avoir dit adieu à son Clergé en prononçant des voeux de paix, il remit son âme au Seigneur, dans la nuit du 22 juin 431. Ses précieuses Reliques reposent aujourd'hui dans la Cathédrale de Nole.
1). Cet épisode, narré par St. Grégoire le Grand, se rapporte vraisemblablement à son successeur, nommé aussi Paulin, car les Vandales qui y sont mentionnés ne pénétrèrent en Campanie que vers 455, quatorze ans après la mort de notre Saint.
SOURCE : http://calendrier.egliseorthodoxe.com/sts/stsjuin/juin22.html
Notre fierté, c’est la croix de Jésus Christ
Depuis l’origine du monde, le Christ souffre dans tous les siens. Il est le commencement et la fin (Apoc. 1,8) ; caché dans la Loi, révélé dans l’évangile, il est le Seigneur toujours admirable qui souffre et triomphe dans ses saints (Ps. 67,36). En Abel, il a été assassiné par son frère ; en Noé, il a été ridiculisé par son fils ; en Abraham, il a connu l’exil ; en Isaac, il a été offert en sacrifice ; en Jacob, il a été réduit en servitude ; en Joseph, il a été vendu ; en Moïse, il a été abandonné et repoussé ; dans les prophètes, il a été lapidé et déchiré ; dans les apôtres, il a été persécuté sur terre et sur mer ; dans ses nombreux martyrs, il a été torturé, assassiné. C’est lui qui, maintenant encore, porte notre faiblesse et nos maladies, car il est homme lui-même, exposé pour nous à tous les maux et capable de prendre en charge la faiblesse que, sans lui, nous serions totalement incapables d’assumer. C’est lui, oui c’est lui qui porte en nous et pour nous le poids du monde afin de nous en délivrer ; voilà comment la force donne toute sa mesure dans la faiblesse (2 Cor. 12,9). C’est lui qui en toi supporte le mépris, et c’est lui que ce monde hait en toi.
Rendons grâces au Seigneur, car s’il est mis en cause, il remporte la victoire (cf. Rom. 3,4). Selon ce mot de l’écriture, c’est lui qui triomphe en nous lorsque, prenant la condition de serviteur il acquiert pour ses serviteurs la grâce de la liberté. Accomplissant le mystérieux dessein de sa bonté, il assume cette condition de serviteur et consent à s’humilier pour nous jusqu’à la mort de la croix. Par cet abaissement visible, il réalise notre élévation jusqu’au ciel, qui est intérieure et invisible. Regarde où nous étions tombés dès le commencement ; comprends-le bien. C’est par le dessein de la sagesse et de la bonté de Dieu que nous sommes rendus à la vie. Avec Adam nous étions tombés par orgueil ; c’est pourquoi nous nous humilions dans le Christ afin d’effacer l’ancienne faute par la pratique de la vertu opposée. Nous avons offensé le Seigneur par orgueil, nous lui plaisons maintenant par notre humilité.
Réjouissons-nous, glorifions-nous dans le Seigneur qui a fait nôtres son combat et sa victoire en nous disant : Courage, car j’ai vaincu le monde (Jn 16,33)... Lui, l’invincible, combattra pour nous et il vaincra en nous. Alors le prince des ténèbres sera jeté dehors, car s’il n’est pas chassé du monde où il est partout, il est chassé du cœur de l’homme : la foi, lorsqu’elle pénètre en nous, le repousse pour faire place au Christ dont la présence jette le péché dehors et exile le serpent... Que les orateurs gardent leur éloquence, les philosophes leur sagesse, les rois leurs royaumes ; pour nous, la gloire, les richesses et le royaume, c’est le Christ ; pour nous la sagesse,
SOURCE : http://www.liturgiecatholique.fr/Homelie-de-Saint-Paulin-de-Nole.html
Meropius Pontius Anicius Paulinus
Distinguished lawyer. Held several public offices in the Empire, then retired from public ministry with his wife, Therasia, first to Bordeaux, France where they were baptized, and then to Therasia’s estate in Spain. After the death of their only son at the age of only a few weeks, the couple decided to spend the rest of their lives devoted to God. They gave away most of their estates and dedicated themselves to increasing their holiness.
Paulinus was ordained, then he and Therasia moved to Nola, Italy, gave away the rest of their property, and dedicated themselves to helping the poor. Paulinus was chosen bishop of Nola by popular demand, and he governed the diocese for more than 21 years while living in his own home as a monk and continuing to aid the poor. His writings contain one of the earliest examples of a Christian wedding song.
Saints of the Day, by Katherine Rabenstein
Short Lives of the Saints, by Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly
Emblems of the Saints, by F C Husenbeth and Augustus Jessopp
O God who the Bishop Saint Paulinus of Nola outstanding for love of poverty and for pastoral care, graciously grant that, as we celebrate his merits, we may imitate the example of his charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. – liturgical collect
“Saint Paulinus of Nola“. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 April 2021. Web. 22 June 2021. <https://catholicsaints.info/saint-paulinus-of-nola/>
Heiliger Paolino aus der Werkstatt von Giuseppe Stuflesser
St. Paulinus of Nola
St. Paulinus of Nola was of a family which boasted of a long line of senators, prefects, and consuls. He was educated with great care, and his genius and eloquence, in prose and verse, were the admiration of St. Jerome and St. Augustine. He had more than doubled his wealth by marriage, and was one of the foremost men of his time. Though he was the chosen friend of Saints, and had a great devotion to St. Felix of Nola, he was still only a catechumen, trying to serve two masters. But God drew him to Himself along the way of sorrows and trials. He received baptism, withdrew into Spain to be alone, and then, in consort with his holy wife, sold all their vast estates in various parts of the empire, distributing their proceeds so prudently that St. Jerome says East and West were filled with his alms.
He was then ordained priest, and retired to Nola in Campania. There he rebuilt the Church of St. Felix with great magnificence, and served it night and day, living a life of extreme abstinence and toil. In 409 he was chosen bishop, and for more than thirty years so ruled as to be conspicuous in an age blessed with many great and wise bishops. St. Gregory the Great tells us that when the Vandals of Africa had made a descent on Campania, Paulinus spent all he had in relieving the distress of his people and redeeming them from slavery.
At last there came a poor widow; her only son had been carried off by the son-in-law of the Vandal king. “Such as I have I give thee,” said the Saint to her; “we will go to Africa, and I will give myself for your son.” Having overborne her resistance, they went, and Paulinus was accepted in place of the widow’s son, and employed as gardener. After a time the king found out, by divine interposition, that his son-in-law’s slave was the great Bishop of Nola. He at once set him free, granting him also the freedom of all the townsmen of Nola who were in slavery.
One who knew him well says he was meek as Moses, priestlike as Aaron, innocent as Samuel, tender as David, wise as Solomon, apostolic as Peter, loving as John, cautious as Thomas, keen-sighted as Stephen, fervent as Apollos. He died in 431.
SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/stpaulinus-of-nola/
L'immagine è di San Paolino (S. Paolino) San Paulinus) di Nola. La statua fu costruita nel 1890 a Nola Italia (creatore sconosciuto) in cartapesta dipinta con una "reliquia" in addome all'interno di un contenitore di vetro
St. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola
(Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus).
Born at Bordeaux about 354; died 22 June, 431. He sprang from a distinguished family of Aquitania and hiseducation was entrusted to the poet Ausonius. He became governor of the Province of Campania, but he soon realized that he could not find in public life the happiness he sought. From 380 to 390 he lived almost entirely in his native land. He married a Spanish lady, a Christian named Therasia. To her, to Bishop Delphinus ofBordeaux and his successor the Presbyter Amandus, and to St. Martin of Tours, who had cured him of some disease of the eye, he owed his conversion. He and his brother were baptized at the same time by Delphinus. When Paulinus lost his only child eight days after birth, and when he was threatened with the charge of having murdered his brother, he and his wife decided to withdraw from the world, and to enter the monastic life. They went to Spain about 390.
At Christmas, 394, or 395, the inhabitants of Barcelona obliged him to be ordained, which was not canonicalas he had not previously received the other orders. Having had a special devotion to St. Felix, who was buriedat Nola in Campania, he laid out a fine avenue leading to the church containing Felix's tomb, and beside it he erected a hospital. He decided to settle down there with Therasia; and he distributed the largest part of hispossessions among the poor. In 395 he removed to Nola, where he led a rigorous, ascetic, and monastic life, at the same time contributing generously to the Church, the aqueduct at Nola, and the construction of basilicas in Nola, Fondi, etc. The basilica at Nola counted five naves and had on each side four additions orchapels (cubicula), and an apsis arranged in a clover shape. This was connected with the old mortuary chapel of St. Felix by a gallery. The side was richly decorated with marble, silver lamps and lustres, paintings, statuary, and inscriptions. In the apsis was a mosaic which represented the Blessed Trinity, and of which in 1512 some remnants were still found.
About 409 Paulinus was chosen Bishop of Nola. For twenty years he discharged his duties in a most praiseworthy manner. His letters contain numerous biblical quotations and allusions; everything he performed in the Spirit of the Bible and expressed in Biblical language. Gennadius mentions the writings of Paulinus in his continuation of St. Jerome's "De Viris Illustribus" (xlix). The panegyric on the Emperor Theodosius is unfortunately lost, as are also the Opus sacramentorum et hymnorum", the "Epistolae ad Sororem", the "Liber de Paenitentia", the "Liber de Laude Generali Omnium Martyrum", and a poetical treatment of the "De Regibus" of Suetonius which Ausonius mentions. Forty-nine letters to friends have been preserved, as those to Sulpicius Severus, St. Augustine, Delphinus, Bishop Victricius of Rouen, Desiderius, Amandus, Pammachius, etc. Thirty-three poems are also extant. After 395 he composed annually a hymn for the feast of St. Felix, in which he principally glorified the life, works, and miracles of his holy patron. Then going further back he brought in various religious and poetic motives. The epic parts are very vivid, the lyrics full of real, unaffected enthusiasm and an ardent appreciation of nature. Thirteen of these poems and fragments of the fourteenth have preserved.
Conspicuous among his other works are the poetic epistles to Ausonius, the nuptial hymn to Julianus, which extols the dignity and sanctity of Christian marriage, and the poem of comfort to the parents of Celsus on the death of their child. Although Paulinus has great versatility and nicety, still he is not entirely free from the mannerisms and ornate culture of his period. All his writings breathe a charming, ideal personality, freed from all terrestrial attachments, ever striving upward. According to Augustine, he also had an exaggerated idea concerning the veneration of saints and relics. His letter xxxii, written to Sulpicius Severus, has received special attention because in it he describes the basilica of Nola, which he built, and gives copious accounts of the existence, construction, and purpose of Christian monuments. From Paulinus too we have information concerning St. Peter's in Rome. During his lifetime Paulinus was looked upon as saint. His body was first interred in the cathedral of Nola; later, in Benevento; then it was conveyed by Otto III to S. Bartolomeoall'Isola, in Rome, and finally in compliance with the regulation of Pius X of 18 Sept., 1908 (Acta ApostolicaeSedis, I, 245 sq.) was restored to the cathedral of Nola. His feast, 22 June, was raised to the rank of a double.
Löffler, Klemens. "St. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 22 Jun. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11585b.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Michael C. Tinkler.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Copyright © 2020 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
JUNE 22.—ST. PAULINUS OF NOLA.
PAULINUS was of a family which boasted of a long line of senators, prefects, and consuls. He was educated with great care, and his genius and eloquence, in prose and verse, were the admiration of St. Jerome and St. Augustine. He had more than doubled his wealth by marriage, and was one of the foremost men of his time. Though he was the chosen friend of Saints, and had a great devotion to St. Felix of Nola, he was still only a catechumen, trying to serve two masters. But God drew him to Himself along the way of sorrows and trials. He received baptism, withdrew into Spain to be alone, and then, in consort with his holy wife, sold all their vast estates in various parts of the empire, distributing their proceeds so prudently that St. Jerome says East and West were filled with his alms. He was then ordained priest, and retired to Nola in Campania. There he rebuilt the Church of St. Felix with great magnificence, and served it night and day, living a life of extreme abstinence and toil. In 409 he was chosen bishop, and for more than thirty years so ruled as to be conspicuous in an age blessed with many great and wise bishops. St. Gregory the Great tells us that when the Vandals of Africa had made a descent on Campania, Paulinus spent all he had in relieving the distress of his people and redeeming them from slavery. At last there came a poor widow; her only son had been carried off by the son-in-law of the Vandal king. " Such as I have I give thee," said the Saint to her; "we will go to Africa, and I will give myself for your son." Having overborne her resistance, they went, and Paulinus was accepted in place of the widow's son and employed as gardener. After a time the king found out, by divine interposition, that his son-in-law's slave was the great Bishop of Nola. He at once set him free, granting him also the freedom of all the townsmen of Nola who were in slavery. One who knew him well says he was meek as Moses, priestlike as Aaron, innocent as Samuel, tender as David, wise as Solomon, apostolic as Peter, loving as John cautious as Thomas, keen-sighted as Stephen, fervent as Apollos. He died A.D. 431.
REFLECTION.—"Go to Campania," writes St. Augustine ; "there study Paulinus, that choice servant of God. With what generosity, with what still greater humility, he has flung from him the burden of this world's grandeurs to take on him the yoke of Christ, and in His service how serene and unobtrusive his life !"
SOURCE : http://jesus-passion.com/Saint_Paulinus.htm
Urn with relics of Saint Paulinus of Nola, at the Duomo di Nola
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Father of the Church to whom we turn our attention today is St Paulinus of Nola. Paulinus, a contemporary of St Augustine to whom he was bound by a firm friendship, exercised his ministry at Nola in Campania, where he was a monk and later a priest and a Bishop. However, he was originally from Aquitaine in the South of France, to be precise, Bordeaux, where he was born into a high-ranking family. It was here, with the poet Ausonius as his teacher, that he received a fine literary education. He left his native region for the first time to follow his precocious political career, which was to see him rise while still young to the position of Governor of Campania. In this public office he attracted admiration for his gifts of wisdom and gentleness. It was during this period that grace caused the seed of conversion to grow in his heart. The incentive came from the simple and intense faith with which the people honoured the tomb of a saint, Felix the Martyr, at the Shrine of present-day Cimitile. As the head of public government, Paulinus took an interest in this Shrine and had a hospice for the poor built and a road to facilitate access to it for the many pilgrims.
While he was doing his best to build the city on earth, he continued discovering the way to the city in Heaven. The encounter with Christ was the destination of a laborious journey, strewn with ordeals. Difficult circumstances which resulted from his loss of favour with the political Authorities made the transience of things tangible to him. Once he had arrived at faith, he was to write: "The man without Christ is dust and shadow" (Carm. X, 289). Anxious to shed light on the meaning of life, he went to Milan to attend the school of Ambrose. He then completed his Christian formation in his native land, where he was baptized by Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux. Marriage was also a landmark on his journey of faith. Indeed, he married Therasia, a devout noblewoman from Barcelona, with whom he had a son. He would have continued to live as a good lay Christian had not the infant's death after only a few days intervened to rouse him, showing him that God had other plans for his life. Indeed, he felt called to consecrate himself to Christ in a rigorous ascetic life.
In full agreement with his wife Therasia, he sold his possessions for the benefit of the poor and, with her, left Aquitaine for Nola. Here, the husband and wife settled beside the Basilica of the Patron Saint, Felix, living henceforth in chaste brotherhood according to a form of life which also attracted others. The community's routine was typically monastic, but Paulinus, who had been ordained a priest in Barcelona, took it upon himself despite his priestly status to care for pilgrims. This won him the liking and trust of the Christian community, which chose Paulinus, upon the death of the Bishop in about 409, as his successor in the See of Nola. Paulinus intensified his pastoral activity, distinguished by special attention to the poor. He has bequeathed to us the image of an authentic Pastor of charity, as St Gregory the Great described him in chapter III of his Dialogues, in which he depicts Paulinus in the heroic gesture of offering himself as a prisoner in the place of a widow's son. The historical truth of this episode is disputed, but the figure of a Bishop with a great heart who knew how to make himself close to his people in the sorrowful trials of the barbarian invasions lives on.
Paulinus' conversion impressed his contemporaries. His teacher Ausonius, a pagan poet, felt "betrayed" and addressed bitter words to him, reproaching him on the one hand for his "contempt", considered insane, of material goods, and on the other, for abandoning his literary vocation. Paulinus replied that giving to the poor did not mean contempt for earthly possessions but rather an appreciation of them for the loftiest aim of charity. As for literary commitments, what Paulinus had taken leave of was not his poetic talent - which he was to continue to cultivate - but poetic forms inspired by mythology and pagan ideals. A new aesthetic now governed his sensibility: the beauty of God incarnate, crucified and risen, whose praises he now sang. Actually, he had not abandoned poetry but was henceforth to find his inspiration in the Gospel, as he says in this verse: "To my mind the only art is the faith, and Christ is my poetry" (At nobis ars una fides, et musica Christus: Carm., XX, 32).
Paulinus' poems are songs of faith and love in which the daily history of small and great events is seen as a history of salvation, a history of God with us. Many of these compositions, the so-called Carmina natalicia, are linked to the annual feast of Felix the Martyr, whom he had chosen as his heavenly Patron. Remembering St Felix, Paulinus desired to glorify Christ himself, convinced as he was that the Saint's intercession had obtained the grace of conversion for him: "In your light, joyful, I loved Christ" (Carm. XXI, 373). He desired to express this very concept by enlarging the Shrine with a new basilica, which he had decorated in such a way that the paintings, described by suitable captions, would constitute a visual catechesis for pilgrims. Thus, he explained his project in a Poem dedicated to another great catechist, St Nicetas of Remesiana, as he accompanied him on a visit to his basilicas: "I now want you to contemplate the paintings that unfold in a long series on the walls of the painted porticos.... It seemed to us useful to portray sacred themes in painting throughout the house of Felix, in the hope that when the peasants see the painted figure, these images will awaken interest in their astonished minds" (Carm. XXVII, vv. 511, 580-583). Today, it is still possible to admire the remains of these works which rightly place the Saint of Nola among the figures with a Christian archaeological reference.
Life in accordance with the ascetic discipline of Cimitile was spent in poverty and prayer and was wholly immersed in lectio divina. Scripture, read, meditated upon and assimilated, was the light in whose brightness the Saint of Nola examined his soul as he strove for perfection. He told those who were struck by his decision to give up material goods that this act was very far from representing total conversion. "The relinquishment or sale of temporal goods possessed in this world is not the completion but only the beginning of the race in the stadium; it is not, so to speak, the goal, but only the starting point. In fact, the athlete does not win because he strips himself, for he undresses precisely in order to begin the contest, whereas he only deserves to be crowned as victorious when he has fought properly" (cf. Ep. XXIV, 7 to Sulpicius Severus).
After the ascetic life and the Word of God came charity; the poor were at home in the monastic community. Paulinus did not limit himself to distributing alms to them: he welcomed them as though they were Christ himself. He reserved a part of the monastery for them and by so doing, it seemed to him that he was not so much giving as receiving, in the exchange of gifts between the hospitality offered and the prayerful gratitude of those assisted. He called the poor his "masters" (cf. Ep. XIII, 11 to Pammachius) and, remarking that they were housed on the lower floor, liked to say that their prayers constituted the foundations of his house (cf. Carm. XXI, 393-394).
St Paulinus did not write theological treatises, but his poems and ample correspondence are rich in a lived theology, woven from God's Word, constantly examined as a light for life. The sense of the Church as a mystery of unity emerges in particular from them. Paulinus lived communion above all through a pronounced practice of spiritual friendship. He was truly a master in this, making his life a crossroads of elect spirits: from Martin of Tours to Jerome, from Ambrose to Augustine, from Delphinus of Bordeaux to Nicetas of Remesiana, from Victricius of Rouen to Rufinus of Aquileia, from Pammachius to Sulpicius Severus and many others, more or less well known. It was in this atmosphere that the intense pages written to Augustine came into being. Over and above the content of the individual letters, one is impressed by the warmth with which the Saint of Nola sings of friendship itself as a manifestation of the one Body of Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit. Here is an important passage that comes at the beginning of the correspondence between the two friends: "It is not surprising if, despite being far apart, we are present to each other and, without being acquainted, know each other, because we are members of one body, we have one head, we are steeped in one grace, we live on one loaf, we walk on one road and we dwell in the same house" (Ep. VI, 2). As can be seen, this is a very beautiful description of what it means to be Christian, to be the Body of Christ, to live within the Church's communion. The theology of our time has found the key to approaching the mystery of the Church precisely in the concept of communion. The witness of St Paulinus of Nola helps us to perceive the Church, as she is presented to us by the Second Vatican Council, as a sacrament of intimate union with God, hence, of unity among all of us and, lastly, among the whole human race (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 1). In this perspective I wish you all a happy Advent Season.
To special groups
I am pleased to welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today's Audience, especially the newly professed Missionaries of Charity. In this Advent season, may your hearts be filled with hope as you prepare for the coming of our Saviour. Upon all of you, and upon those who have travelled here from Sweden, Malta, Australia, Singapore, Canada and the United States, I invoke God's Blessings of joy and peace.
Lastly, I greet the young people, the sick and the newly-weds. I hope that you, dear young people, will dispose your hearts to welcome Jesus, who saves us with the power of his love. Dear sick people, who in your illness experience the weight of the cross even more, may the forthcoming Christmas festivities bring you serenity and comfort. And dear newly-weds who have recently formed your family, may you grow increasingly in that love which Jesus came to give us in his Nativity.
© Copyright 2007 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
SOURCE : http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20071212_en.html
PONTIUS MEROPIUS PAULINUS was born at Bourdeaux in 353. In his pedigree, both by the father and mother’s side, was displayed a long line of illustrious senators, and his own father, Pontius Paulinus, was præfectus prætorio in Gaul, the first magistrate in the western empire. But the honours and triumphs of his ancestors were eclipsed by his superior virtues, which rendered him the admiration of his own and all succeeding ages, and excited St. Martin, St. Sulpicius Severus, St. Ambrose, St. Austin, St. Jerom, St. Eucherius, St. Gregory of Tours, Apollinaris, Cassiodorus, and others to vie with each other in celebrating his heroic actions, and to become the publishers of his praises to the corners of the earth. Besides the pre-eminence of his birth and riches, he received from nature a penetrating and elevated understanding, and an elegant genius, with other excellent accomplishments of mind and body, by which he was qualified for the highest attainments, and seemed born for everything that is great. These talents he cultivated from his infancy, by the closest application to the study of all the liberal arts, and he acquired the most extensive compass of useful learning. He had for master in poesy and eloquence the famous Ausonius, the first man of his age in those sciences, whose delicacy and wit would have ranked him among the greatest poets, if industry, evenness of style, and the purity of the Augustan age had not been wanting in his writings. 1 That professor, merely for his literary abilities, was honoured by Valentinian with the dignity of præfectus prætorio, and by Gratian, whose preceptor he was, with that of consul. Under such a master Paulinus fully answered the hopes which his friends had conceived of him, and, whilst young, harangued at the bar with great applause. “Every one,” says St. Jerom, 2 “admired the purity and eloquence of his diction, the delicacy and loftiness of his thoughts, the strength and sweetness of his style, and the liveliness of his imagination.” Such were the acquirements of Paulinus in his youth, whilst a desire of pleasing men yet divided his heart. Probity, integrity, and other moral virtues were endowments of his soul still more admirable than his learning. His merit was soon distinguished by those who had the administration of the state, and by the emperors themselves, by whom he was raised, yet young, to the first dignities, and declared consul before his master Ausonius; consequently before the year 379. He took to wife a Spanish lady of sincere piety, and one of the most accomplished of her sex; her name was Therasia, and she brought him a great estate in land. The prudence, generosity, affability, and other social and religious virtues of the young statesman attracted veneration and esteem wherever he came, and gained him many friends and clients in Italy, Gaul, and Spain; in all which countries he had displayed his talents during fifteen years in the discharge of various employments and affairs both public and domestic. But God was pleased to open his eyes to see the emptiness of all worldly pursuits, and to inspire him with a more noble and innocent ambition of becoming little for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
The conversation of St. Ambrose at Milan, of St. Martin whom he had met at Vienne, and of St. Delphinus bishop of Bourdeaux gave him a relish for retirement, and strong sentiments of a more perfect virtue. The last-mentioned holy prelate being bishop of the native city and most ordinary residence of Paulinus whilst he remained in the world, made good use of the opportunity which his situation gave him, and being charmed with the saint’s happy dispositions, often spoke to him on the necessity and happiness of giving himself to God without reserve. Paulinus had made some advances in virtue; but was not yet perfect. He was always an enemy to vanity or the love of human applause, than which passion nothing can be more unworthy of virtue, or more beneath a generous soul: though all the heathen philosophers shamefully disgraced their attainments by this base weakness. Tully was not ashamed to boast of it, and Demosthenes was delighted to hear a poor old woman whisper, “This is the great Demosthenes.” Paulinus seemed always raised by his own greatness of soul above this abject passion, and showed that geniuses which are truly great, are superior to their own abilities. But still he found how difficult a task it is for a man to preserve a perfect disengagement and purity of heart in the midst of worldly honours and blandishments, and to stand his ground against the incitements of the softer passions. Whilst every thing goads him on, and his senses and his own heart betray him, to shield his soul from the penetrating caresses of pleasure must be little short of a continued miracle. Moreover, by serious meditation on the vanities of the world, Paulinus had possessed his mind with a sincere conviction that its pleasures are empty, treacherous, and fraught with deadly poison. Certain shocks which he felt in his fortune through revolutions that happened in the empire, contributed to give him a more feeling sense of the instability of earthly things, and that bitterness which is inseparable from worldly affairs in high life, helped to increase this disgust and contempt of the world, and to discover to him the falsehood of its gilded bubbles which dazzle the eye of men at a distance. His wife, though yet young, and in a condition to enjoy the world, was the first to excite him to a contempt of whatever is not God; and they mutually encouraged one another to forsake all, that they might more perfectly follow Christ. In this resolution they retired first into Spain, and passed four years in a little country solitude, from 390 to 394, in exercises of penance and devotion. There they lost their only son an infant whom Paulinus calls a holy offspring, because he had been purified by baptism. They buried him at Alcala near the bodies of the martyrs Justus and Pastor. The holy couple lived from that time, by mutual consent, in perpetual chastity; and Paulinus soon after changed his dress, to signify to the world his resolution of forsaking it, and he determined to renounce the senate, his country, estate, and house, and to bury himself in some monastery or wilderness. He was very rich, and Ausonius 3 grieved to see the kingdoms of Paulinus the father, as he calls his vast estates, divided among a hundred possessors. 4 The saint sold all his estates, and distributed the price among the poor; as he did also the estate of his wife, with her consent, who aspired with no less fervour to Christian perfection. This action was much extolled by all true servants of God, 5 but severely condemned by the slaves of the world; who called his piety folly, hating God in the works of his servant, because contrary to theirs. The rich forsook him; his own slaves, his relations, and brothers refused to pay him the common duties of humanity and charity, and rose up against him, so that he became as one unknown to his brothers, “and as a stranger to the children of his mother.” God permitted this persecution to befal him that by it he might be more perfectly weaned from the world, and might learn to contemn its frowns. If I please men, says the apostle, I should not be a servant of Christ. 6 And Christ himself assures us that no man is worthy to be called his disciple, who hath not courage to despise human respects. Paulinus, instructed in this school, rejoiced to hear men bark at him, and all his own friends conspire to tear him to pieces, and to accuse his retreat of melancholy, hypocrisy, and every other sinister motive. His short, but golden answer to their invectives was comprised in five words: 7 “O happy affront to displease you with Christ;” as he wrote to St. Aper to comfort and encourage him under a like persecution of the world, because though a person who by his eloquence, learning, and dignity of judgment, held an eminent rank among the first magistrates of the empire in Gaul, he preferred to these advantages the obscurity of a religious state, which he and his wife embraced by mutual consent, soon after which he was promoted to priest’s orders. Paulinus’s old master Ausonius, who had always the most tender love and the greatest esteem for him, regretted exceedingly that he should lose a nobleman whom he knew capable of being an honour to the greatest dignities; and in verses and letters yet extant, which discover how deeply his heart was rooted in a worldly spirit, reproached him in the most bitter terms, arraigning his action of madness and extravagance. He employed the most tender entreaties, and the harshest invectives in hopes to overcome his resolution, and complains that Bilboa or Calahorra should possess and bury the glory and pillar of the Roman senate and empire. 8 The saint, without the least emotion, wrote him back in beautiful verse, a mild and elegant answer, in which he testifies, that it was to him the highest pleasure to meet with reproaches for serving Christ: and that he regarded not the opinion or railleries of men, who pursue opposite views, provided his actions might gain the approbation of the Eternal King whom alone he desired to please. 9 Thus whilst the world despised him, he justly and courageously despised it again, and gloriously trampled it under his feet. His persecutors and upbraiders, seeing him regardless of the censures of a world to which they were themselves enslaved, became in a short time their admirers, and loudly extolled his modesty and meekness no less than his greatness of soul and the purity of his intention. In his poverty and obscurity he became the admiration of the universe, and persons of the first rank travelled from the remotest boundaries of the empire to see Paulinus in his little cottage, as St. Austin and St. Jerom witness. Therasia confirmed him in these good resolutions, and was not inferior to him in virtue. Having joined with him in selling her estate, she was not ashamed to appear in mean clothes, being persuaded that an humble dress suits penitent minds, and that humility is not easily to be preserved under rich attire.
St. Ambrose, St. Austin, St. Jerom, and St. Martin, gave due praise to this heroic virtue of St. Paulinus, knowing they might safely do it to one dead to the applause no less than to the censures of others. St. Austin being then only priest, in 392, commended his generous resolution, calling it, The glory of Jesus Christ. 10 And exhorting Licentius, a young nobleman who had formerly been his scholar, to a contempt of the world, he wrote thus to him, “Go into Campania; see Paulinus, that man so great by his birth, by his genius, and by his riches. See with what generosity this servant of Christ has stript himself of all to possess only God. See how he has renounced the pride of the world to embrace the humility of the cross. See how he now employs in the praises of God those riches of science, which unless they are consecrated to him who gave them, are lost.” 11 Our saint could not bear applause. Greater by his humility than by all his other virtues, he sincerely desired to be forgotten by men, and begged his friends to refrain from their compliments, and not add to the load of his sins by praises which were not his due. “It surprised me,” said he, “that any one should look upon it as a great action for a man to purchase eternal salvation, the only solid good, with perishable pelf, and to sell the earth to buy heaven.” Others called him perfect in virtue; but his answer was, “A man that is going to pass a river by swimming is not got on the other side when he has but just put off his clothes. His whole body must be in action, and his limbs all put in motion; he must exert his utmost strength, and make great efforts to master the current.” 12 The saint had, indeed, for the sake of virtue, forsaken all that the world could give; he had despised its riches, honours, and seducing pleasures, and had trampled upon its frowns, and all human respects. Courted in the world by all who would be thought men of genius, and caressed by all who valued themselves upon a fine taste, he had courage to renounce those flattering advantages; and with honours and riches he had made a sacrifice also of his learning and great attainments only that he might consecrate himself to the divine service. Yet this was only the preparation to the conflict. Wherefore not to lose by sloth the advantages which he had procured to himself, he laboured with all his strength to improve them to his advancement in virtue. He made it his first endeavour to subdue himself, to kill the very seeds of pride, impatience, and other passions in his heart, and to ground himself in the most profound humility, meekness, and patience. If any one seemed to admire the sacrifice he had made in renouncing so great riches and honours, in the number of captives he had ransomed, of debtors whom he had freed from prison by discharging their debts, of hospitals he had founded, and of churches he had built, he replied that the only sacrifice which God accepted was that of the heart, which he had not yet begun to make as he ought; that if others had not given so much to the poor, they excelled in more heroic virtues; for the gifts of grace are various; that his sacrifice was too defective in itself, and only exterior, consequently of no value, but rather hypocrisy. These and the like sentiments he so expresses, as to show how perfectly he considered himself as the most unprofitable and unworthy of servants in the house of God, and saw nothing in himself but what was matter of compunction, and a subject of the most profound humiliation. To the practice of interior self-denial, by which he bent his will, he added exterior mortification. And so great was the poverty in which he lived, that he often was not able to procure a little salt to his herbs or bread, which the most austere hermits usually allowed themselves. Yet the holy cheerfulness of his pious soul was remarkable to all who had the happiness to enjoy his acquaintance; and we sensibly discern it in a constant vein of gaiety which runs through all his writings.
Paulinus would not choose a retreat at Jerusalem or Rome, because he desired to live unknown to the world. His love of solitude and his devotion to St. Felix determined him to prefer a lonely cottage near Nola, a small city in Campania, that he might serve Christ near the tomb of that glorious confessor, which was without the walls of the town. He would be the porter of his church, to sweep the floor every morning, and to watch the night as keeper of the porch; and he desired to end his life in that humble employment. 13 But he was promoted to holy orders before he left Spain. The people of Barcelona seized him in the church on Christmas day in 393, and demanded with great earnestness that he should be made priest. He resolutely opposed their desire, and only at length consented on condition that he should be at liberty to go wherever he pleased. This being agreed to, he received holy orders from the hands of the bishop. The citizens of Barcelona were indeed in hopes to fix him among them; but the next year, 394, after Easter, he left Spain to go into Italy. He saw St. Ambrose at Milan, or rather at Florence, who received him with great honour, and adopted him into his clergy, but without any obligation of residing in his diocess. The saint went to Rome, and met with great civilities from Domnio, a holy priest of that church, from St. Pammachius, and many others. But Pope Siricius did not appear equally gracious, and the saint made no stay in that capital, being in haste to arrive at Nola, the place of his retirement. 14 There stood a church over the tomb of Felix, half a mile from the walls of the city, and to it was contiguous a long building of two stories, with a gallery divided into cells, in which Paulinus lodged the clergymen who came to see him. On the other side was a lodging for secular persons, who sometimes visited him; and he had a little garden. Several pious persons lived with him, whom he calls a company of monks, 15 and he practised with them all the rules and austerities of a monastic state. They celebrated the divine office, were clad with sackcloth, and abstained for the most part from wine, though Paulinus himself, on account of his infirmities, drank sometimes a little diluted with a great quantity of water: they fasted and watched much, and their ordinary diet was herbs; but they never ate or drank so much as to satisfy hunger or thirst. St. Paulinus says, 16 that every day he laboured to render to St. Felix all the honour he was able; yet he strove to outdo himself on the day of his festival: to which he added every year a birth-day poem in his honour as a tribute of his voluntary service, as he styles it. We have fourteen, or as others count them, fifteen of these birth-day poems of St. Felix, composed by St. Paulinus, still extant.
The saint testifies that no motive so strongly excited him to the greatest fervour in the divine service as the consideration of the infinite goodness of God, who, though we owe him so much, demands only our love to pay off all debts, and to cancel our offences. Poor and insolvent as we are, if we love, this clears off all the score. And in this no man can allege the difficulty, because no man can say he has not a heart. We are masters of our love; if we give this to the Lord, we are quit. The excess of his goodness carries him still further, for he is pleased that by paying him our poor love, we should be moreover entitled to his greatest favours, and of our creditor should make him our debtor. 18 St. Paulinus had spent fifteen years in his retirement, when upon the death of Paul the bishop of Nola, about the end of the year 409, he was chosen to fill the episcopal chair. Uranius, a priest of that church under our saint, who has given us a short relation of his death, to which he was an eye-witness, testifies that the holy prelate in the discharge of his pastoral duties, sought to be beloved by all rather than feared by any. No provocations were ever able to move him to anger, and in his tribunal he always joined mildness with severity. No one ever had recourse to him who did not receive from him every kind of comfort of which he stood in need. Every one received a share in his liberalities, in his counsels, or in his alms. He looked upon only those as true riches which Christ hath promised to his saints, saying that the chief use of gold and silver consists in affording means to assist the indigent. By his liberality in relieving others he reduced himself to the last degree of penury. 19 The Goths in their plunder of Italy in 410, besieged Nola, and, among others, Paulinus was taken prisoner. In this extremity he said to God with confidence, “Suffer me not to be tortured for gold and silver; for you know where I have placed all that you gave me.” And not one of those who had forsaken all for Christ was tormented by the barbarians. This is related by St. Austin. 20 A virtuous lady called Flora having buried her son Cynegius in the church of St. Felix, consulted St. Paulinus, what advantage the dead receive by being buried near the tombs of saints. Paulinus put the question to St. Austin, who answered it by his book, On the Care for the Dead, in which he shows that pomp of funerals and the like honours are only comforts of the living friends, not succours of the deceased; but that a burial in a holy place proceeds from a devotion which recommends the soul of the deceased to the divine mercy, and to the saint’s intercession. St. Paulinus lived to the year 431. Three days before his death he was visited in his last sickness by Symmachus and Acyndinus, two bishops, with whom he entertained himself on spiritual things, as if he had been in perfect health. The joy of seeing them made him forget his distemper. With them he offered the tremendous sacrifice, causing the holy vessels to be brought to his bedside. 21 Soon after the priest Posthumian coming in, told him that forty pieces of silver were owing for clothes for the poor. The saint smiling, said some one would pay the debt of the poor. A little after arrived a priest of Lucania, who brought him fifty pieces of silver, sent him for a present from a certain bishop and a layman. St. Paulinus gave thanks to God, gave two pieces to the bearer, and paid the merchants for the clothes. He slept a little at night, but awaked his clergy to matins according to his custom, and made them an exhortation to unanimity and fervour.—After this he lay silent till the hour of vespers, when stretching out his hands, he said in a low voice,—I have prepared a lamp for my Christ, Psalm, xxxi. The lamps in the church were then lighting. Between ten and eleven at night, all who were in his chamber felt a sudden trembling as by some shock of an earthquake, and that moment he gave up his soul to God. He was buried in the church he had built in honour of St. Felix. His body was afterwards removed to Rome, and lies in the church of St. Bartholomew beyond the Tiber.
The world by persecuting St. Paulinus served only to enhance the glory of his victory, and to prepare him a double crown. This enemy is much less dangerous if it condemn than if it applaud us. To fear its impotent darts is to start at shadows. Itself will in the end admire those who for the sake of virtue have dared to despise its frowns. To serve men for God as far as it lies in our power is a noble part of charity; but to enslave our conscience to the mad caprice of the world is a baseness, a pusillanimity, and a wickedness, for which we cannot find a name. In other things we serve you, said the Hebrews to king Pharaoh, when his slaves in Egypt; but we must be free to go into the wilderness to sacrifice to the God of Israel. In the indispensable duties of religion, in the service of God, in the affair of eternity, we are essentially free; the dignity of our nature, and our allegiance to God, forbid us in this ever to become slaves. Here we must always exert an heroic courage, and boldly profess, by our conduct, with all the saints, that we know no other glory but what is placed in the service of God, and that we look upon ignominies suffered for the sake of virtue as our greatest gain and honour. We are his disciples who hath told us,—If the world hateth you, know that it hated me first, John xv.
Note 1. Ausonius having taught rhetoric at Bourdeaux about thirty years, was called by Valentinian I. to his imperial court at Triers, and made preceptor to his son Gratian, who was then Augustus in 367. He was raised to the first dignities in the empire. After the death of Gratian in 383, Ausonius returned to Bourdeaux, and died in the year 394, the eighty-fifth of his age, the fourth after the retreat of St. Paulinus. He was esteemed the first man of his age in polite literature, and the ablest master. St. Paulinus expresses his gratitude to him for his care in his education in strong and tender terms:—
Tibi disciplinas, dignitatem, literas,
Linguæ, togæ, famæ decus,
Provectus, altus, institutes debeo,
Patrone, præceptor, pater, &c. Carm. 10, v. 93.
Gratia prima tibi, tibi gloria debita cedet, &c.
Ausonius had a good deal of wit, a natural genius for poetry, and a very ready pen; but many of his compositions are very slovenly and unfinished pieces. Others show what he was capable of, especially some of his little poems, and in the first place his tenth Idyllium, which is a description of the Moselle, which is published apart with large commentaries by Morquadus Freher. If the Latin had been more pure, and of the Augustan standard, his panegyric on Gratian, with thanks for the honour of the consulship which he received from him in 378, would have been a finished piece. Some take him for an idolater; but his Idyllium on Easter, and his Ephemeris (or pious poem for the instruction of his scholars how to perform all the actions of the day with a pious prayer) invincibly prove him to have been a Christian. The shameful obscenity of some of his poems show him to have been a stranger to the spirit of his religion; but it is hoped that the example and excellent letters of St. Paulinus excited him to a sincere conversion to God in the end of his life. The best edition of Ausonius’s works is that published for the use of the great dauphin in 1730, by Souchay and Abbé Fleury, canon of Chartres.
Note 2. St. Hier. ep. 101, 102.
Note 3. Ep. 23.
Note 4. It appears from several letters of Paulinus. &c. that he had an estate and a country house where he often resided at Ebromagus, near the Garonne, now Burg, according to Samson, or rather Bram, upon the Lers, which falls into the Garonne, according to Dom De Vic. and Dom Vaisette, in their history of Languedoc, t. 1, note 39, p. 634, another estate near Bourdeaux, still called Le Puy Paulin: others at Alengones, now Langon, on the Garonne, thirty leagues from the mouth of the river: others near Narbonne; others about Fundi and Cæcubum in Latium, &c. and doubtless in many other places.
Note 5. St. Ambrose, ep. 30. St. Jerom, ep. 13, 34. St. August. l. de Civit Dei, c. 10, ep. 30; olim. 36, ep. 26; ol. 30, ep. 27; ol. 32, &c. Uranius, § 5. S. Gregor. Turon. de Glor. Conf. c. 107. Sulpic. Sever. Vit. S. Martini, c. 21 et 26. Fortunatus, &c.
Note 6. Gal. i. 10.
Note 7. O beata injuria displicere cum Christo. St. Paulin. ep. 38, ol. 29, p. 228, et Veron.
Ergo meum patriæque decus, columenque senati
Bilbilis, aut hærens scopulis Calagurris habebit?
Hic trabeam, Pauline, tuam, Latiamque curulem
Constituis, patriosque istic sepelibis honores?
Ausonius, ep. 25, ad Paulinum, v. 56, &c. p. 361.
Christi sub nomine probra placebunt.
Carm. 10, v. 186, p. 369.
Stultus diversa sequentibus esse
Nil moror, æterno mea dum sententia Regi
Ib. v. 265.
Si placet hoc, gratare tui spe divite amici;
Si contra est, Christo tantum me linque probari.
Ib. v. 285, p. 376.
Note 10. St. Paulin. ep. 31.
Note 11. St. Aug. ep. 26, olim 39, ad Licent.
Note 12. St. Paulin. ep. 24, n. 7, p. 151. See other admirable instances of his sincere humility. Ib. n. 20, ep. 32, n. 3, ep. 4, n. 4, ep. 40, n. 11.
Note 13. Carm. 12.
Note 14. St. Paulinus in his poems testifies that from his tender age he had been particularly devoted to St. Felix, and ascribes to the prayers of that saint his conversion from the world, and other favours. Muratori most probably thinks with Chifflet, that he was substituted to Valens in the consulship after his death in 378, the twenty-fifth of his age. Pagi thinks he was only honorary consul, but is evidently mistaken; for Paulinus thanks St. Felix that by his patronage when honoured with the consulate he had put no one to death. (Muratori, Diss. 9, p. 816.) St. Paulinus, the year after his consulate, was made consular of Campania, the first among the consular provinces, the government of which was given to the most illustrious ex-consuls. Paulinus entered upon this charge in 379, and in it assisted at the feast of St. Felix, at Nola, in 380, as he testifies in a poem he wrote fifteen years after. (Nat. 2.) During this time he resided not at Capua, as usually the governors did, but at Nola, and he caused a road to be paved to St. Felix’s church, an aqueduct to be built for the use of the city and church, &c. It is clear from his writings that he had also been at Nola when a child, then dedicated his heart to God through the patronage of St. Felix, and always retained a singular devotion to that saint. See Muratori, Diss. 10, p. 817; Diss. 13, p. 823.
Note 15. Ep. 23, n. 8.
Note 16. Ep. 28, n. 6.
Note 17. The eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth were imperfect even in Le Brun’s edition; but Muratori, historian to the Duke of Modena, has given them complete in his Anecdotes of the Ambrosian library, and they are printed in the edition of St. Paulinus’s works at Verona, with Muratori’s Dissertations on St. Paulinus. We have several other poems of our saint’s composition. The three first were written whilst he was yet in the world, as appears from their subjects: the tenth and eleventh were addressed to Ausonius to justify his retreat from the world, to whom he says (Carm. 10,) that he ought rather to have congratulated with him because till then he had only fed on the viands of death, and had no relish but for things which are a folly before God. His poem to Jovius was written to prove a providence; that to Julian on the occasion of his marriage contains excellent advice to married persons. His poems are thirty-two, which with fifty-one elegant epistles make up his works, of which the most complete edition is that given by Le Brun, at Paris, 1685, in one volume, 8vo. with his life; and that in folio, printed at Verona in 1736, corrected from a great number of MSS. enriched with the notes and dissertations of several authors and with four entire poems of this father, published before by Muratori, and for this edition again revised by the same hand; three being on St. Felix, the fourth upon the follies of idolatry. St. Paulinus’s epistles gained him the name of “the delight of ancient Christian piety.” St. Austin (ep. 27,) writes, that they flow with milk and honey, and that the faithful in reading them are transported with their charms, and that it cannot be expressed with what sweetness and ardour they are inspired by them. They represent to our view the true picture of his holy soul, being the natural effusion of the abundance of his heart, and of the fervour with which he sought God. He finds allusions to piety and religious sentiments in everything; as in being shaved, he meditated on the cutting off of the superfluities of sin and passions in his heart; in a coat of camel’s hair he considers the motives of compunction, &c. St. Jerom (ep. ad Paulin.) extols the art and eloquence of his panegyric of the Emperor Theodosius, which is now lost; but we may apply those praises to his discourse on alms. His poems are sprightly and full of gaiety and sweetness; the thoughts are beautiful, the comparisons noble, and well adapted; the poet never flags; never suffers his reader to sleep. His master Ausonius confesses, that he yields to him the palm in poesy; (ep. 20, ad Paulin;) and says, he knew no modern Roman who could vie with him, and that he is the only poet who joins brevity with perspicuity. (ep. 19, ad Paulin.) St. Paulinus expresses a great devotion to the saints; he testifies that their relics were used in the consecration of altars and churches, (ep. 23. ad Sever. p. 204,) the faithful not doubting that they serve for a defence and a remedy. He mentions that their shrines were adorned with flowers, (poem 14,) that crowds flocked to them, (poem 13,) being attracted by the miracles wrought by them; for by the intercession of the martyrs (poem 18,) lost things were found, and the sick were cured. He speaks as an eye-witness of a raging fire, which had mastered all the power of human industry, but was extinguished by a little chip of the holy cross. (poem 25.) He sent to Sulpicius Severus a chip of that holy wood enchased in gold, calling it “a great present in a little atom, a defence of our temporal, and a pledge of eternal life.” (ep. 32.) He made every year a journey to Rome to visit the tombs of the apostles, (ep. 45, ad Augustin. p. 270,) and to assist at the feast of SS. Peter and Paul. (ep. 17, ad Sever.) All his poems on St. Felix are full of testimonies of his confidence in the merits of that saint. He prays him to recommend his petitions to God, and to be his protector before the throne of his divine Majesty, especially at the day of Judgment. (poem 14, p. 43.) He declares that in the holy eucharist we eat the same flesh of Christ which was fastened to the cross:—
In cruce fixa caro est, quâ pascor; de cruce sanguis.
Ille fluit, vitam quo bibo, corda lavo.
Ep. 32, p. 204.
He speaks often of holy images, and describes in the church of St. Felix at Nola the pictures of all the histories of the Pentateuch; also of Josue, Ruth, Toby, Judith, and Esther. (poem 24 and 25.) He says, they were the books of the ignorant. (poem 24, p. 156.) He begged the prayers of his friends for the soul of his brother, deceased, and doubts not but they will procure him refreshment and comfort if he suffered any pains in the other life. (Ep. 35, ad Delphin. et 36, ad Amand. p. 224.) Nothing can be stronger, more affecting, or more tender, than many parts of the writings of St. Paulinus, where he expresses his sentiments of humility and compunction, his gift and esteem of holy fear, and his ardent love of God. See ep. 23, p. 146, &c.
Note 18. St. Paulin. ep. 23, ad Sulpic. Sever. n. 46, 47.
Note 19. St. Gregory the Great (Dial. l. 3, c. 1,) recounts, that Paulinus of Nola sold himself to the Vandals to redeem the son of a poor widow, having before employed all he could raise in the ransom of other captives, and that he laboured as a slave working in the garden, till his master, discovering his merit, and that he was endued with a gift of prophecy, gave him his liberty. Some think this happened under the Goths, who sacked Nola in our saint’s time. Ceillier says that this history belongs to our saint’s successor, whose name, according to some catalogues, was Paulinus II. and who died in 442. For before that year the Vandals had made descents into that part of Italy. Nor does St. Austin, Uranius, or any other author mention any such thing of our saint. Many deny that the saint’s immediate successor was called Paulinus. But all agree that there was a bishop of Nola called Paulinus the Younger, and Paulinus II. or according to others III. who lived in 520, as Muratori observes, (p. 446,) of whom St. Gregory, who wrote his dialogues about the year 540, most probably is to be understood. The Vandals entered Africa in 427. (Papebroke, t. 4. Junij, p. 193. Append. de 3.) Paulinis distinguishes three Paulinus’s of Nola, and that it was the third, called the Younger, who sold himself to the Vandals before the year 535. He is mentioned in an epitaph found in the cemetery of Nola. (See Ferrarius in Thesauro, Eccl. Nolan. anno 1644.) This Paulinus foretold the death of Thrasimund, who died in 511. St. Gregory the Great was informed of this good bishop’s voluntary captivity by eye-witnesses.
Note 20. L. de Cura pro mortuis, c. 16.
Note 21. Uranius de Obitu Paulini.
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VI: June. The Lives of the Saints. 1866
SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/6/221.html
Sanctuary of San Paolino at Sutera (Sicily) with relics of Saint Paulinus of Nola
- John Dawson Gilmary Shea. “Saint Paulinus of Nola”. , 1889. CatholicSaints.Info. 25 May 2014. Web. 23 June 2020. <https://catholicsaints.info/pictorial-lives-of-the-saints-saint-paulinus-of-nola/>
Paulinus of Nola B (RM)
Born in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France, c. 354; died 431. Saint Paulinus of Nola (and Thomas More below) is one of the few male saints with whom I feel an absolute affinity, even though there are others that I admire. Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus, was the son of a Roman patrician who was the praetorian prefect in Gaul at the time of Paulinus's birth. The family owned extensive lands in both Aquitaine and Italy. He was taught by the poet Ausonius until he was 15, when he went to the University of Bordeaux to study Roman law, poetry, eloquence, science, and Platonic philosophy. He became a successful and prominent lawyer.
Mercoledì, 12 dicembre 2007
San Paolino in cartapesta su la punta del giglio
Dopo la morte prematura dell'unico figlioletto, Celso, entrambi decisero di dedicarsi interamente all'ascesi cristiana, sul modello di vita monacale in voga in Oriente. Così, di comune accordo si sbarazzarono delle ingenti ricchezze che possedevano un po' ovunque, distribuendole ai poveri, e si ritirarono nella Catalogna per dare inizio ad un'originale esperienza ascetica. Paolino era ormai sulla quarantina. Conosciuto e ammirato nell'alta società, era amato ora anche dal popolo, che a gran voce chiese al vescovo di Barcellona di ordinarlo sacerdote.
Paolino accettò con la clausola di non essere incardinato tra il clero di quella regione. Declinò anche l'invito di Ambrogio, che lo voleva a Milano. Paolino accarezzava sempre l'ideale monastico di una vita devota e solitaria. Infatti si recò quasi subito in Campania, a Nola, dove la famiglia possedeva la tomba di un martire, S. Felice. Diede inizio alla costruzione di un santuario, ma si preoccupò anzitutto di erigere un ospizio per i poveri, adattandone il primo piano a monastero, dove si ritirò con Therasia e alcuni amici in "fraternitas monacha", cioè in comunità monastica.
I contatti con il mondo li manteneva attraverso la corrispondenza epistolare (ci sono pervenute 51 lettere) con amici e personalità di maggior spicco nel mondo cristiano, tra cui appunto Agostino. Per gli amici buttava giù epitalami e poesie di consolazione. Ma a porre termine a quella mistica quiete, nel 409, sopraggiunse l'elezione a vescovo di Nola. Si stavano preparando per l'Italia anni tempestosi. Genserico aveva passato il mare alla testa dei Vandali e si apprestava a mettere a sacco Roma e tutte le città della Campania. Paolino si rivelò un vero padre, preoccupato del bene spirituale e materiale di tutti. Morì a 76 anni, nel 431, un anno dopo l'amico S. Agostino.
Autore: Piero Bargellini
SOURCE : http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/27800
Festa dei Gigli di Nola, 24 juin 2007
No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims). No machine-readable author provided. Inviaggiocommons assumed (based on copyright claims).
In Italy, the Dance of the Giglio festival is known to all as La Festa dei Gigli which translates to the Feast of the Lilies. As chronicled in the Origin & History page, eight Gigli towers and and Boat are erected each year and danced through the street of Nola in honor of San Paolino. The decision to erect and dance eight Giglio towers was not picked arbitrarily. The symbolism of eight comes from the story of San Paolino and his return to Nola with the men of the town from captivity. Upon reaching the Nola, he was greeted by various trades that provided him with various goods and products of their trade. (https://web.archive.org/web/20050403151520/http://www.giglio-usa.org/Nola.htm)
PAOLINO di Bordeaux, vescovo di Nola, santo
di Mario Niccoli - Enciclopedia Italiana (1935)
PAOLINO di Bordeaux, vescovo di Nola, santo (Meropius Pontius Paulinus). - Nato a Bordeaux verso il 353-354 da nobilissima famiglia della Gallia romana, studiò ivi sotto il retore Ausonio a cui fu legato da affettuosa amicizia. Giovanissimo entrò nella carriera pubblica, favorito certo dall'influenza del suo maestro alla corte di Valentiniano II. Giunto presto al grado di senatore e forse a quello di consul suffectus (per l'anno 378), fu inviato nel 379 a governare la Campania, e stabilitosi a Nola conobbe allora i luoghi consacrati alla memoria di quel S. Felice, il cui culto ebbe poi tanta parte nella vita spirituale di P. Tornato in Aquitania, durante un viaggio in Spagna conobbe e sposò Terasia che condusse con sé in Aquitania; ivi assistette sia agli avvenimenti che portarono sul trono Massimo, sia alle polemiche religiose connesse con Priscilliano, le quali, certo con notevole esagerazione ma non del tutto arbitrariamente, come i più pensano, sono state messe in relazione con la sua formazione spirituale. Verso il 389 P. si battezzò e presto decise, in pieno accordo con la moglie Terasia, di ritirarsi completamente dal mondo, distribuendo in opere di beneficenza le sue ricchezze. Il vecchio maestro Ausonio cercò invano di stornarlo da tale proposito, e le epistole poetiche scambiate fra Ausonio e P. in questa circostanza sono fra le più significative opere di costui. Ordinato prete a Barcellona (393-395), P. si stabilì con sua moglie (i due avevano interrotto ogni rapporto coniugale) a Nola dedicandosi completamente al culto di S. Felice. La città, che dal 409 volle a suo vescovo Paolino, divenne da allora come un faro di pietà, a cui si rivolse pressoché tutto il mondo cristiano attratto dalla fama dei due santi sposi e dei miracoli di S. Felice. P. morì il 22 giugno 431. Il suo corpo, deposto nella basilica di S. Felice, fu in seguito traslato a Roma nella chiesa di S. Bartolomeo all'Isola e di qui, nel 1908, nella cattedrale di Nola dove tuttora si venera.
A parte poche opere perdute (fra le quali largamente attestato è un panegirico
di Teodosio) e un certo numero di opere dubbie, l'opera letteraria di P. consta
di un copioso epistolario e di una raccolta di poesie (edite a cura di G.
Hartel, in Corpus Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum, XXIX [Epistolae],
XXX [Carmina], Vienna 1894). Le lettere sono 52 (l'edizione del Hartel ne
registra 51, ma in realtà la XXV è seguita da una XXV*). Di esse la XXXIV è
un'omilia intitolata De gazophylacio. De avaritia fugienda et de
elemosinis erogandis. Le lettere XLVI e XLVII, dirette a Rufino d'Aquileia,
sono probabilmente apocrife. Le lettere appartengono cronologicamente
soprattutto al periodo 394-404 e sono in gran parte indirizzate a vescovi o
amici della Gallia: Delfino e Amando di Bordeaux, Esuperio di Tolosa, Simplicio
di Vienna, Alitio di Cahors, Diogeniano d'Albi, Dinamio d'Angoulême, Venerando
di Clermont, Pegaso di Périgueux, Victricio di Rouen. A Sulpicio Severo,
carissimo fra gli amici, sono indirizzate le lettere I, V, XI, XXII-XXIV,
XXVII-XXXI. Fra i corrispondenti fuori della Gallia sono da segnalare S.
Agostino (lettere IV, VI, XLV, L), Alipio di Tagaste, Pammachio. Particolare
importanza ha la lettera di S. Agostino a P. (Epistolae, CLXXXVI) per metterlo
in guardia contro Pelagio, già in relazione con P., e contro i discepoli di
quello coi quali P. manteneva ancora rapporti. Per quanto i contemporanei
abbiano considerato P. come eccellente epistolografo (in epistolari studio
prope Tullium representans, afferma di lui S. Girolamo), le sue lettere
appaiono letterariamente appesantite dall'abuso di citazioni bibliche e di fiori
retorici, inobliabile reminiscenza, questi ultimi, dell'insegnamento di
Ausonio. Maggiore considerazione ha avuto la sua opera poetica (in tutto 33
poesie) che oltre alla citata corrispondenza con Ausonio (carmi X, XI)
comprende la serie dei carmi (XII-XVI, XVIII-XXI, XXIII, XXVI-XXIX) scritti fra
il 395 e il 407 in occasione degli anniversarî della morte di S. Felice
(detti natalicia dalla "nascita" alla vita eterna); la
parafrasi poetica dei salmi I, II, CXXXVI (carmi VII, VIII, IX), una parafrasi
evangelica in onore di S. Giovanni Battista (carme VI), un epitalamio in
occasione delle nozze di Giuliano d'Eclano (carme XXV), un Propempticon a
Niceta di Remesiana (carme XVII), una Consolatio a Pneumatio e
Fidelis in occasione della morte del loro figlio Celso. Tutte queste poesie,
senza segnalarsi per particolarissimi pregi poetici, hanno fortemente
contribuito, con quelle di Prudenzio, alla creazione di una letteratura poetica
cristiana. Come le epistole, esse rivelano in P. un cuore tenero e affettuoso,
un'anima profondamente nutrita di pietà, seppure non vibrante per ricchezza di
motivi spirituali, una concezione del cristianesimo e della vita religiosa
improntata al più sereno, spesso quasi semplicistico, ottimismo.
Bibl.: Oltre le notizie dedicate a P. in tutte le storie letterarie (particolarmente ampia quella in U. Moricca, Storia della letteratura latina cristiana, II, ii, Torino 1928, pp. 966-1101, con ampia bibliografia) si citano fra gli studî più notevoli o più recenti: A. Buse, P. Bischof von N., Ratisbona 1856; F. Lagrange Histoire de S. P. de N., 2ª ed., Parigi 1882; A. Baudrillart, S. P., ivi 1905; M. Peuch. De Paulini nolani Ausoniique epistolarum commercio, ivi 1887; P. Reinelt, Studien über die Briefe des h. P. v. N., Brelasvia 1903; J. Brochet, La correspondance de St. P. de N. et de Sulpice-Sévère, Parigi 1906; E. Ch. Babut, Paulin de Nole, Sulpice Sévère et Saint Martin de Tours, recherches de chronologie, in Annales du Midi, XX (1908); id., P. de N. et Priscillen, in Revue d'histoire et de littérature religieuse, I (1920), pp. 37 segg., 252 segg.; U. Moricca, Il "votum" di Sulpicio Severo e di S. Paolino di Nola, in Didaskaleion, III (1925), pp. 89-96; L. Allevi, S. Paolino di Nola e il tramonto della civiltà antica, in La Scuola cattolica, XVII (1931), pp. 161-175; A. H. Chase, The metrical lives of St Martin of Tours by Paulinus and Fortunatus, in Harvard studies of classical Philology, 1932, pp. 51-76.
Voir aussi : http://bsa.biblio.univ-lille3.fr/cr-paulinutrout.htm