mercredi 22 août 2012

Saint SYMPHORIEN d'AUTUN, martyr


Saint Symphorien d'Autun

Martyr (3ème s.)

Saint Symphorien, jeune martyr décapité au IIIe siècle... 

Qui était Saint Symphorien? - site de la paroisse Saint Symphorien de Versailles. 

... est un jeune martyr né à Autun, ville encore païenne située sur une grande voie romaine. Son père saint Fauste, préteur au service du consul romain, et sa mère sainte Augusta l'avaient élevé dans la foi chrétienne.

Refusant de sacrifier à la grande déesse Cybèle, il fut battu, emprisonné puis condamné à mort.

Sur le chemin de son supplice et jusqu'au dernier moment, sa mère l'encouragea du haut des remparts d'Autun à rester ferme dans sa foi lui disant notamment: "Courage mon fils! Ta vie ne te sera pas enlevée; elle te sera échangée contre une vie meilleure."
Il fut décapité dans sa vingtième année.

Un internaute nous signale:

"Symphorien est le St patron de ma commune (Vs/CH) le 22 août on fait 9 tours de l'église et on embrasse 9 fois sa relique"

À Autun, peut-être vers 275, saint Symphorien, martyr. Jeune chrétien, il aurait troublé une procession en l’honneur de la déesse Bérécinthe. Tandis qu’on le conduisait au supplice hors de la ville, sa mère l’exhortait du haut des remparts: “Mon fils, mon fils Symphorien, souviens-toi du Dieu vivant. Aujourd’hui la vie ne t’est pas enlevée, elle est changée en vie meilleure”.

Martyrologe romain


SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/1719/Saint-Symphorien-d-Autun.html


Saint Symphorien

Martyr

(† 108)

Saint Symphorien, né à Autun, appartenait à l'une des familles de cette ville les plus illustres par ses ancêtres, par ses richesses et par ses fonctions. Il resta pur au milieu des dangers de la jeunesse; avec le rayonnement de la vertu, son beau front reflétait la noblesse et l'intelligence; il était déjà l'ornement de la cité.

Un jour que le peuple, en grande partie païen, célébrait la fête de la déesse Cybèle, Symphorien témoigna hautement son mépris pour ces démonstrations ridicules et refusa de joindre ses hommages à ceux de la foule. Il n'en fallait pas davantage pour être saisi et traîné devant les tribunaux:

"Déclare ton nom et ta condition, lui dit le juge.

– Je m'appelle Symphorien, et je suis chrétien.

– Pourquoi n'as-tu pas voulu adorer la déesse?

– Je n'adore que le Dieu vivant; quant à votre déesse, donnez-moi un marteau, et je la briserai en mille pièces.

– Si tu ne veux pas obéir à l'édit des empereurs, tu paieras ta révolte de ton sang.

– Dieu punit les méchants, mais Il récompense les justes en proportion de leurs mérites; je n'ai donc point lieu de craindre tes supplices; plus je souffrirai, plus ma couronne sera belle."

Après une sanglante flagellation, le jeune martyr fut jeté dans un noir cachot; quelques jours après, non seulement on ne le trouva pas amolli, mais il se montra plus ferme encore. Comme le juge l'exhortait à sacrifier aux idoles:

"Ne perdez pas votre temps en discours vains et frivoles," lui dit Symphorien.

Le juge insistant, pour le flatter, sur les honneurs qui l'attendaient: "Les biens des chrétiens, dit-il, leurs honneurs, ne sont pas de ce monde; le monde passe comme une ombre; Dieu seul donne le vrai bonheur.

– Obéis, dit le juge furieux, ou je te condamne à mort!

– Je crains Dieu seul; vous avez pouvoir sur mon corps, mais vous ne pouvez rien sur mon âme.

– Symphorien, vous êtes condamné à périr par le glaive!"

C'est alors qu'eut lieu une scène sublime. La mère du jeune martyr avait assisté à sa glorieuse confession de foi; elle voulait assister à son couronnement et suivit le cortège jusqu'aux murailles de la cité, près du lieu où devait s'accomplir le sacrifice. Là, du haut des remparts, cette femme, digne émule de la mère des Macchabées, fit entendre à son fils cette exhortation touchante:

"Courage, mon fils, courage, la mort nous conduit à la vie. Regardez en haut, mon enfant, regardez Celui qui règne au Ciel!" Fortifié par ces paroles, le jeune chrétien livra sans hésiter sa tête au fer du bourreau.

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950

SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_symphorien.html



Daniel Hallé. Le Martyre de Saint Symphorien, 1671

SAINT SYMPHORIEN

Symphorien vient de symphonie. Car il fut comme un instrument de musique qui rend des sons harmonieux de vertu. Dans un instrument de musique il y a trois choses, comme elles existèrent dans Symphorien. D'après Averroës, l’objet qui résonne doit être dur à la résistance, doux pour la prolongation des sons et large quant à leur ampleur. De même Symphorien fut comme un instrument de musique ; il fut dur à lui-même par austérité, doux aux autres par mansuétude et large à tous par grandeur de charité.

Symphorien était originaire de la ville d'Autun. Dès sa jeunesse, il excellait par une telle gravité de moeurs qu'il semblait prévenir la vieillesse. Les païens (480) célébraient une fête de Vénus et l’on portait sa statue devant le préfet Héraclius. Symphorien qui s'y trouva ne voulut pas l’adorer; alors il fut battu longtemps et jeté en prison. On le fit sortir ensuite du cachot et comme on le forçait à sacrifier et qu'on lui promettait de grandes récompenses, il dit : « Notre Dieu sait récompenser le mérite comme il sait punir les péchés. Cette vie que nous avons à payer à Dieu comme une dette, payons-la en dévouement. On se repent, trop tard, d'avoir tremblé devant son juge. Vos présents trompeurs qui paraissent avoir la douceur du miel ne sont que poison à ceux dont l’esprit est assez crédule pour les accepter. Votre cupidité, en voulant tout posséder, ne possède rien, parce que enlacée dans les artifices du démon, elle est retenue dans les entraves d'un misérable gain : et vos joies, semblables à une eau glacée, se brisent dès qu'elles reçoivent les rayons du soleil. » Alors le juge, rempli de colère, porta une sentence de mort contre Symphorien. On le conduisait à l’endroit de l’exécution, quand sa mère lui cria de dessus le mur: « Mon fils, mon fils, souviens-toi de la vie éternelle: regarde en haut, et vois celui qui règne dans le ciel. Ta vie n'est point détruite, puisqu'elle est changée en une meilleure (1) ». Bientôt après il fut décapité, et son corps enlevé par les chrétiens fut enseveli honorablement. Il s'opérait tant de miracles à son tombeau que les païens l’avaient en grand honneur. Grégoire de Tours rapporte  (2)qu'un chrétien ramassa trois pierres à l’endroit où son sang avait été répandu et qu'il les renferma dans une boîte d'argent revêtue de bois. Il la déposa dans un château qu'un incendie dévora tout entier; mais la boîte fut retirée intacte et entière dit milieu du foyer. Il pâtit vers l’an du Seigneur 270.

(1) Bréviaire romain.

(2) De Glor. Mart., l. IV, c. LII.


La Légende dorée de Jacques de Voragine nouvellement traduite en français avec introduction, notices, notes et recherches sur les sources par l'abbé J.-B. M. Roze, chanoine honoraire de la Cathédrale d'Amiens, Édouard Rouveyre, éditeur, 76, rue de Seine, 76, Paris mdcccci




Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Le Martyre de Saint-Symphorien, 1824-1834, 


Symphorian(us) of Autun M (RM)

Died c. 180. Because Symphorian is one of the most celebrated French martyrs, his story has been often embellished. He was a member of a senatorial family in Gaul, son of Faustus and Augusta, in the important Roman city of Autun--one of the most fashionable towns of the 1st century with its ramparts, huge gates, luxurious temples, and famous schools that drew the young student and secret Christian, Symphorian, to it. Here the pagan goddess Cybele (Berecynthia) was particularly revered. On her feast day the image of this goddess was wheeled through the streets of Autun on a chariot, while the mob bowed and worshipped. Taking part in the ceremonies was the provincial governor, Heraclius. When he noticed that Symphorian did not reverence the idol, he commanded him to worship Cybele as the mother of all the gods. Perhaps he thought that Symphorian was just trying to demonstrate his adolescent independence. Declaring that he worshipped the one true God, Symphorian asked for a hammer to smash the pagan idol. Heraclius was taken aback. He did not previously realize that Symphorian was a Christian, he said, "You must have kept it a close secret," because everyone had thought he was a good citizen and, thus, a fervant pagan.


Learning that Symphorian came from a noble family, the governor decided to give him another chance. When the said persisted in his faith, he was flogged and thrown into prison. A few days later the now-beraggled prisoner was again brought before Heraclius. The governor tried to bribe him, offering him an army commission if he would recant. But all this was in vain, and he eventually condemned the saint to be killed by the sword.

Soldiers led him to the place of execution outside the city walls. There on the ramparts stood his mother, to whom the embarrassed crowd gave a wide berth. Augusta, with no more tears to shed at the condition of her beloved son, who was as full of pride as she was of agony, cried out, "Do not be afraid, Symphorian. You death will lead straight to eternal life. Life will not be taken from you, only changed" (vita mutatur non tollitur). The swordsman cut off his head and he was buried in a tomb. Near the end of the 5th century, a church was built in his honor at Autun (Attwater, Benedictines, Doble, Encyclopedia, Bentley).

In art, Saint Symphorian is portrayed as a young man being dragged to martyrdom as he is encouraged by his mother. He is the patron of children and students, and invoked against eye problems and syphilis (Roeder).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0822.shtml

Sts. Timotheus and Symphorian

Martyrs whose feast is observed on 22 August. During the pontificate of Melchiades (311-13), St. Timotheus came from Antioch to Rome, where he preached for fifteen months and lived with Sylvester, who later became pope. The prefect of the city, Tarquinus Perpenna, threw him into prison, tortured, and finally beheaded him in 311. A Christian woman named Theon buried him in her garden. This is related in the legend of Sylvester. The name of Timotheus occurs in the earliest martyrologies.

According to a legend of the early fifth century, St. Symphorian of Autun was beheaded, while still a young man, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. His mother, the Blessed Augusta (?), encouraged him on his way to execution, 22 August, 178. Bishop Euphronius (d. 490) built a handsome church over his grave, connected with a monastery, which belonged to the Congregation of Sainte-Geneviève from 1656 until its suppression in 1791. Abbot Germanus later became Bishop of Paris, where he dedicated a chapel to the saint. St. Symphorian is the patron saint of Autun. his veneration spread at an early date through the empire of the Franks. His cult was especially popular at Tours; St. Gregory relates a miracle wrought by the saint.


Sources

Acta SS., August, IV, 530-35, 491; Ruinart, Acta Martyrum; Dinet, Saint Symphorien et son culte (2 vols., Autun, 1861); Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, I, 52.

Meier, Gabriel. "Sts. Timotheus and Symphorian." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 23 Aug. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14727a.htm>

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Barry W. McDaniel.


Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14727a.htm

August 22

St. Symphorian, Martyr

HE was son of Faustus, of a noble Christian family, and suffered at Autun in Gaul, soon after the martyrs of Lyons, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. He had been baptized by St. Benignus, was well instructed in polite literature and in his faith, was then in the bloom of life, and remarkable for his modesty, prudence, charity, and the innocence of his manners. The city of Autun was one of the most ancient and famous of all Gaul; but at that time the most superstitious, and particularly addicted to the worship of Cybele, Apollo, and Diana. On a certain day of the year, the statue of Cybele was with great pomp carried through the streets in a chariot richly adorned. Symphorian, because he had not on that occasion adored it, was seized by the mob, and carried before Heraclius, a man of consular dignity, and governor of the province, who happened to be then at Autun, very busy in calling the Christians to an account. Heraclius, being seated on his tribunal, asked him why he refused to adore the image of the mother of the gods. He answered, because he was a Christian, and adored the true God who reigneth in heaven. The judge then inquired of the officers, whether he was a citizen of the place. One of them answered: “He is of this place, and of a noble family.” The judge said to Symphorian: “You flatter yourself on account of your birth, and are perhaps unacquainted with the emperor’s orders.” He then ordered him to be bound, and said to him: “What say you to this Symphorian?” The martyr continuing to express his abhorrence of the idol, Heraclius commanded him to be cruelly beaten with clubs, and sent him to prison. Two days after, he was brought out of his dark dungeon, and presented before the tribunal. Heraclius courted him by proffers of preferment, saying: “It would be much better for you to serve the immortal gods, and to receive a gratuity from the public treasury, with an honourable military office. If you have a mind, I will cause the altars to be adorned with flowers, that you may offer to the gods the incense which is due to them.” Symphorian testified by his answer, that he despised the offers that were made him, and abhorred the cruel and extravagant superstitions that were made use of in the worship of Cybele. At length the judge condemned him to die by the sword. He heard the sentence with joy. As he was carried out of the town to execution, his mother, standing on the walls of the city to see him pass by, cried out to him: “My son, my son Symphorian: remember the living God, and be of good courage. Raise your heart to heaven, and consider him who reigneth there. Fear not death which leads to certain life.” He suffered about the year 178. Some religious persons carried away his body privately, and buried it in a cave, near a fountain, without the common field. His tomb became famous for miracles, and in the middle of the fifth century Euphronius, a priest, afterwards bishop of Autun, built over it a church in his honour. See his authentic acts in Ruinart, p. 70, and St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. 1, 2, c. 15, and l. de Gloria Mart. Also Tillemont, t. 4, Ceillier, t. 2, p. 99.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume VIII: August. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/8/222.html

San Sinforiano di Autun Giovane martire


Autun (Francia) † 257 ca.

Martirologio Romano: A Autun nella Gallia lugdunense, ora in Francia, san Sinforiano, martire, che, mentre era condotto al supplizio, dal muro della città fu ammonito dalla madre con queste parole: «Figlio, figlio, Sinforiano, tieni a mente il Dio vivo. Oggi a te la vita non è tolta, ma trasformata in meglio».

S. Gregorio di Tours (538-594) vescovo e storico francese, nel suo “De gloria confessorum” narra la vicenda del giovane Sinforiano, martire di Autun (Francia gallica), il quale era figlio del nobile Fausto.

Istruito ed educato accuratamente, era anche profondamente cristiano e pieno di virtù. In quel tempo la città di Autun era quasi del tutto pagana e vi fioriva il culto di Cibele detta la “Gran Madre”, antica dea della Terra e della fecondità.

E un giorno Sinforiano incontrando una processione pagana in onore della dea, proferì frasi di scherno; i pagani non lo tollerarono e presolo lo condussero davanti al tribunale cittadino, dal console Eraclio rappresentante di Roma.

Per due volte confessò la sua fede cristiana e fu condannato a morte, mentre veniva condotto al supplizio, l’eroica madre dall’alto dei bastioni della città lo incoraggiava in lingua gallica ad avere in mente solo la vita eterna in Dio.

Il santo martire fu ucciso a nord della città, fuori la porta S. Andrea, la sua morte secondo la sua ‘Passio’ del V secolo e che s. Gregorio di Tours garantisce autentica, viene fatta risalire verso il 257 quando Aureliano era comandante in Gallia e al tempo della persecuzione indetta dall’imperatore Valeriano (253-260), ad ogni modo la comunità cristiana di Autun in quel tempo non era numerosa, come del resto in tutta la Gallia. 

Verso il 454 fu costruita una basilica sul luogo del martirio ad opera di s. Eufronio vescovo di Autun dal 452 al 475, affidandola a chierici regolari ospitati in un annesso monastero.

Questo convento ebbe nel VI secolo il suo massimo splendore contribuendo così alla diffusione del culto di s. Sinforiano; l’antico convento passato poi ai Benedettini e poi ai Canonici Regolari di S. Genoveffa, durò fino al periodo della Rivoluzione Francese; anche la chiesa fu distrutta nel 1806.

Tra tutti i martiri del III secolo, s. Sinforiano (in francese Symphorien) fu il più venerato, la sua tomba era protetta da una ‘cella’ come per i santi più importanti dei primi tempi; a Tours se ne celebrava la festa fin dal V secolo e a Bourges nel VI secolo esisteva una basilica a lui dedicata.

È celebrato anche in Belgio, nel Lussemburgo e in Germania, le sue reliquie sono conservate oltre che ad Autun anche in parte a Nuits-Saint-Georges; è invocato nelle malattie degli occhi e in Provenza perché guarisca gli storpi e contro la siccità; una volta era protettore dei cacciatori col falcone.

Ben 27 Comuni francesi prendono il nome da lui. Tutti i Martirologi storici e quello Romano riportano la sua celebrazione al 22 agosto.

Ad Autun nella Cattedrale di San Lazzaro, c’è un bellissimo quadro su tela, opera di Jan Ingres (1780-1867), raffigurante il diciottenne s. Sinforiano condotto al martirio, in cui è visibile anche la madre che dalle mura gli infonde coraggio indicando il cielo.

L’opera fu commissionata al grande pittore francese, dal vescovo di Autun mons. de Vichy per la cattedrale della città; iniziata nel 1826 fu terminata nel 1834.

Autore: Antonio Borrelli