vendredi 22 mars 2013

Saint ZACHARIE I, Pape et confesseur



Saint Zacharie

Le saint pape Zacharie, d'origine grecque, naquit en Calabre où il fut élevé dans la piété et les sciences. Traducteur grec érudit des Dialogues de saint Grégoire le Grand et prédicateur éloquent, il fut admis dans le clergé de Rome sous le pape Grégoire III auquel il succéda alors que le roi des Lombards, Luitprand (712-744), menaçait de s’emparer de Rome (741). Ses familiers aimèrent sa douceur et sa compassion, admirèrent son pouvoir de persuasion et eurent confiance à sa grande habileté politique.

Alors qu’on venait d’apprendre la mort de Charles Martel (22 octobre 741) dont Grégoire III espérait du secours contre les Lombards, Zacharie fut élu pape le 3 décembre 741 et sacré le 10 décembre 741. Zacharie abandonna le duc de Spolète, allié inefficace du Saint-Siège, pour traiter avec Luitprand et s'entendit si bien avec lui (traité de Terni, août 742) qu'un semblant de paix régna en Italie surtout après le traite de Pavie où le Lombard s'engageait à ne pas attaquer l'exarchat de Ravenne (29 juin 743). Luitprand étant mort au mois de janvier suivant, son neveu et successeur, Hildebrand, se montra plus belliqueux mais il était un si mauvais prince que ses sujets le chassèrent sept mois plus tard au profit du duc de Frioul, Rachis, qui confirma traité pour vingt ans. Rachis rompit le traité en assiégeant Pérouse (749), mais Zacharie, venu sur place, lui fit lever le siège et se montra si édifiant que le Roi changea de vie au point que, quelques mois plus tard, il se rendit à Rome et abdiqua pour entrer à l'abbaye du Mont-Cassin tandis que sa femme et sa fille devenaient religieuses (juin 749). Astolphe, le frère et successeur de Rachis, confirma le traité pour vingt ans mais s'empara tout de même de Ravenne (751) et mit fin à l’exarchat byzantin. Encore que Constantinople était acquise à l’iconoclasme, Zacharie tenta avec succès d’avoir de bonnes relations avec Constantin V. Grâce à saint Boniface, son légat, qui lui rendait exactement compte de toutes ses actions, Zacharie eu d’excellentes relations avec les Francs, gouvernés par les fils de Charles Martel, qui veillaient à la réforme ecclésiastique. Après que Carloman se fut fait moine au Mont Cassin (747), le pape Zacharie, en faveur de Pépin le Bref qui voulait ceindre la couronne royale, décréta qu'il était logique que celui qui détenait effectivement la puissance fût roi (750) ; ainsi après la déposition de Childéric III, Pépin fut élu roi et sacré par saint Boniface, commençant le règne de la dynastie carolingienne (751). Désormais, contre les Lombards qui redevenaient menaçants, le Saint-Siège avait un allié indéfectible. On a longtemps cru que Zacharie mourut le 14 mars 752 et l'on célébrait sa fête le 15 mars, mais le martyrologe de 1922 a estimé que sa mort n'était survenue que le 22 mars.

SOURCE : http://missel.free.fr/Sanctoral/03/22.php

Saint Zacharie, pape

Natif de Syrie, mais d’origine grecque, il devient moine puis, émigré en Italie, est admis comme prêtre dans le clergé romain. Dernier pape grec,  il est élu pour succéder à Grégoire III en l’an 741. Confronté au problème des envahisseurs lombards, il règle cette question avec sagesse tant pour Rome, que le lombard Liutprand voulait gouverner, que pour Ravenne qui dépendait de l'empire de Byzance. Malgré la querelle iconoclaste où saint Zacharie rappelle la doctrine orthodoxe, il maintient des relations courtoises avec l'empereur de Constantinople. Il encourage la réforme de l'Eglise franque et appuie Pépin le Bref qui, après avoir déposé le dernier mérovingien, avait quelque scrupule à ceindre la couronne ; non seulement Zacharie donna un avis favorable (« Il vaut mieux appeler roi celui qui a la puissance que celui qui en fait n’a pas le pouvoir ») mais il chargea Boniface de donner l’onction au nouveau roi, sacre inédit chez les Francs, qui eut lieu à Soissons en 751 ; ainsi Pépin devenait l’obligé d’une papauté à la recherche d’un nouveau protecteur. Zacharie soutint aussi le travail missionnaire de saint Boniface, archevêque de Mayence, et lui demande de multiplier les conciles à cet effet. Il entreprit la reconstruction de l'abbaye du Mont-Cassin, détruite par les invasions lombardes. Il meurt en 752.  


Saint Zacharie (741-752), 91ième pape

Il réussit à se réconcilier avec Liutprand et signa avec lui un pacte de paix de vingt ans.

Les Lombards, toutefois, ne respectèrent pas ce pacte et envahirent Ravenne. Zacharie chercha alors à faire alliance avec les Francs de Pépin le Bref.


ZACHARIE saint (mort en 752) pape (741-752)

Quand Zacharie devint pape en décembre 741, le Saint-Siège était en lutte avec les Lombards, alors maîtres de l'Italie, en difficulté avec Constantinople et en défiance du côté des Francs. Zacharie fut assez heureux pour faire la paix avec les Lombards et retrouver pleine autorité sur le duché de Rome. Les difficultés de l'empereur de Constantinople le détournèrent des querelles iconoclastes ; le pape en bénéficia. Charles Martel mourut en 741, laissant le royaume à ses fils Carloman et Pépin le Bref, qui soutinrent l'action réformatrice de saint Boniface. En 747, Carloman s'étant fait moine au Mont-Cassin, Pépin le Bref demanda alors au pape s'il ne serait pas meilleur que le titre de roi fût porté par celui qui exerçait le pouvoir, c'est-à-dire par lui, Pépin, et non par un incapable descendant de Clovis. Le pape répondit favorablement, non qu'il se crût en possession du droit de nommer les rois, mais par simple souci de résoudre un cas de conscience.

Jacques DUBOIS, (moine bénédictin, directeur d'études à l'École pratique des hautes études (IVe section))



Tropaire à saint Zacharie,

Pape orthodoxe de Rome,

(Natalice en 752 A.D.)


Fils de l'Hellade, évêque en la ville de Rome,*

Tu défendis l'Eglise contre l'hérésie*

Qui voulait faire disparaître les icônes.*

Tu soutins l'œuvre missionaire en Germanie*

Conduite par saint Boniface de Mayence.*

Saint Zacharie, prie le Christ de sauver nos âmes!


Pope St. Zachary

(ZACHARIAS.)

Reigned 741-52. Year of birth unknown; died in March, 752. Zachary sprang from a Greek family living in Calabria; his father, according to the "Liber Pontificalis", was called Polichronius. Most probably he was a deaconof the Roman Church and as such signed the decrees of the Roman council of 732. After the burial of his predecessor Gregory III on 29 November, 741, he was immediately and unanimously elected pope andconsecrated and enthroned on 5 December. His biographer in the "Liber Pontificalis" describes him as a man of gentle and conciliatory character who was charitable towards the clergy and people. As a fact the new popealways showed himself to be shrewd and conciliatory in his actions and thus his undertakings were very successful. Soon after his elevation he notified Constantinople of his election; it is noticeable that his synodica(letter) was not addressed to the iconoclastic Patriarch Anastasius but to the Church of Constantinople. The envoys of the pope also brought a letter for the emperor. After the death of Leo III (18 June, 741) his successorwas his son Constantine V, Copronymus. However, in 742 Constantine's brother-in-law Artabasdus raised a revolt against the new emperor and established himself in Constantinople; thus when the papal envoys reachedConstantinople they found Artabasdus the ruler there. As late as 743 the papal letters were dated from the year of the reign of Constantine V; in 744, however, they are dated form the year of the reign of Artabasdus. Still thepapal envoys do not seem to have come into close relations with the usurper at Constantinople, although the latter re-established the worship of images. After Constantine V had overthrown his rival, the envoys of the popepresented to him the papal letter in which Zachary exhorted the emperor to restore the doctrine and practice of the Church in respect to the worship of images. The emperor received the envoys in a friendly manner and presented the Roman Church with the villages of Nympha and Normia (Norba) in Italy, which with their territories extended to the sea.


When Zachary ascended the throne the position of the city and Duchy of Rome was a very serious one.Luitprand, King of the Lombards, was preparing a new incursion into Roman territory. Duke Trasamund ofSpoleto, with whom Pope Gregory III had formed an alliance against Luitprand, did not keep his promise to aid the Romans in regaining the cities taken by the Lombards. Consequently Zachary abandoned the alliance withTrasamund and sought to protect the interests of Rome and Roman territory by personal influence overLuitprand. The pope went to Terni to see the Lombard king who received him with every mark of honour.Zachary was able to obtain from Luitprand that the four cities of Ameria, Horta, Polimartium, and Blera should be returned to the Romans, and that all the patrimonies of the Roman Church that the Lombards had taken from it within the last thirty years, should be given back; he was also able to conclude a truce for twenty years between the Roman Duchy and the Lombards. A chapel to the Saviour was built in the Church of St. Peter at Rome in the name of Luitprand, in which the deeds respecting this return of property were placed. After the pope's return, theRoman people went in solemn procession to St. Peter's to thank God for the fortunate result of the pope's efforts. Throughout the entire affair the pope appears as the secular ruler of Rome and the Roman territory. In the next year Luitprand made ready to attack the territory of Ravenna. The Byzantine exarch of Ravenna and thearchbishop begged Pope Zachary to intervene. The latter first sent envoys to the Lombard king, and when these were unsuccessful he went himself to Ravenna and from there to Pavia to see Luitprand. The pope reached Paviaon the eve of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. He celebrated the vigil and the feast of the princes of the Apostlesat Pavia, and was able to induce the king to abandon the attack on Ravenna and to restore the territory belonging to the city itself. Luitprand died shortly after than and after his first successor Hildebrand was overthrown, Ratchis became King of the Lombards. The pope was on the best of terms with him. In 749 the new king confirmed the treaty of peace with the Roman Duchy. The same year Ratchis abdicated, with his wife and daughter took the monastic vows before the pope, and all three entered the monastic life.

In 743 Pope Zachary held a synod at Rome which was attended by sixty bishops. This synod issued fourteencanons on various matters of church discipline. On this occasion the pope took up the question of theimpediments to marriage of relationship in the fourth degree, in regard to which the Germans claimed to have obtained a dispensation from Pope Gregory II. The year previous Zachary had written on this point to the bishopsand kings of that province. An active correspondence was kept up between Zachary and St. Boniface. The latter in his zealous labours had organized the Church in the German territories, and while doing this had kept in close connection with the Papal See. Early in 742, soon after his elevation, Zachary received a letter from Boniface in which the saint expressed his full submission to the possessor of the Chair of Peter and requested thenconfirmation of the three newly established Bishoprics of Wurzburg, Buraburg, and Erfurt; Boniface also sought authority to hold a synod in France and to suppress abuses in the lives of the clergy. The pope confirmed the three dioceses and commissioned Boniface to attend, as papal legate, the Frankish synod which Karlmann wished to hold. In a later letter Zachary confirmed the metropolitans of Rouen, Reims, and Sens appointed by Boniface, and also confirmed the condemnation of the two heretics Adelbert and Clement. Various questions in which thepope and Boniface disagreed were discussed in letters. In 745 was held the general synod for the Frankishkingdom called by Pepin and Carloman. Here decrees were passed against unworthy ecclesiastics, and the twoheretics, Adelbert and Clement, were again condemned. Boniface sent a Frankish priest to Rome to make a report to the pope, and the latter held on 25 October, 745, a synod at the Lateran at which, after exhaustive investigation, an anathema was pronounced against the two heretics. Zachary forwarded the acts of the synodwith a letter to Boniface. Pepin and the Frankish bishops sent a list of questions respecting the discipline of theclergy and of the Christian population to Pope Zachary, and the latter answered in a letter of 746 in which decisions respecting the various points are given. These decisions were communicated to Boniface so that he might make them generally known at a Frankish synod. The following year, 747, Carloman resigned his authority and the world, went to Rome, and was received by Pope Zachary into a monastic order. At first he lived in themonastery on the Soracte, later at Monte Cassino. Thanks to the efforts of St. Boniface all the Frankish bishopswere now agreed in submission to the See of St. Peter. Zachary sent still other letters to the bishops of Gaul andGermany, and also to Boniface as the papal legate for the Church of this region. Boniface was constantly inintercourse with Rome both by letters and envoys and sent important questions to the pope for decision. An important proof of the recognition by the Franks of the high moral power of the papacy is shown by the appeal topapal authority on the occasion of the overthrow of the Merovingian dynasty. Pepin's ambassadors, BishopBurkard of Wurzburg and Chaplain Folrad of St. Denis, laid the question before Zachary: whether it seemed rightto him that one should be king who did not really possess the royal power. The pope declared that this did not appear good to him, and on the authority of the pope Pepin considered himself justified in having himself proclaimed King of the Franks (cf. SAINT BONIFACE; and PEPIN THE SHORT). The ecclesiastical activity of thepope also extended to England. Through his efforts the Synod of Cloveshove was held in 747 for the reform ofchurch discipline in accordance with the advice given by the pope and in imitation of the Roman Church.

Zachary was very zealous in the restoration of the churches of Rome to which he made costly gifts. He also restored the Lateran palace and established several large domains as the settled landed possessions (domus cultæ) of the Roman Church. The pope translated to the Church of St. George in Velabro the head of the martyrSt. George which was found during the repairs of the decayed Lateran Palace. He was very benevolent to thepoor, to whom alms were given regularly from the papal palace. When merchants from Venice bought slaves atRome in order to sell them again to the Saracens in Africa, the pope bought all the slaves, so that Christiansshould not become the property of heathens. Thus in a troubled era Zachary proved himself to be an excellent, capable, vigorous, and charitable successor of Peter. He also carried on theological studies and made a translation of the Dialogues of Gregory the Great into Greek, which was largely circulated in the East. After his death Zachary was buried in St. Peters.

Sources

Liber Pontificalis, ed. DUCHESNE, I, 426-39; JAFFE, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum (2nd ed.), I, 262-70; LANGEN, Geschichte der römischen Kirche, II (Bonn, 1885), 628-49; HEFELE, Konziliengeschichte, III, passim; NURNBERGER, Die romische Synode vom Jahre 743 (Mainz, 1898). Cf. also the bibliography to SAINT BONIFACE; and PEPIN THE SHORT.

Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Pope St. Zachary." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912.10 Dec. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15743b.htm>.


Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Thomas M. Barrett. Dedicated to Pope St. Zachary.


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

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15743b.htm

Zachary I, Pope (RM)
(also known as Zacharias)


Born at San Severino, Calabria, Italy; died 752; feast day formerly on March 22; feast day in the East is September 5.


Pope Zachary I came from a Greek family in Calabria. He became a deacon in Rome, known for his learning and sanctity, and was chosen pope in 741 to succeed Saint Gregory III. His holiness was so great that, instead of seeking revenge, he heaped benefits on those who had persecuted him before his promotion to the pontificate.

When King Liutprand of the Lombards was about to invade Roman lands at Terni because of the rebellion of the dukes of Spoleto and Benevento, Zachary risked his own life in order to meet with the barbarian. Through persuasion Zachary won the freedom of all prisoners of war and the Roman territory Liutprand had occupied during 30 years was returned. It is said that the Lombards were moved to tears at the devotion with which they heard him say Mass. Another time, he dissuaded Liutprand from invading Ravenna.

Zachary achieved a great deal with the Lombards by negotiation, leading to peace between the Lombards and the Greek Empire. In fact, he gave the Benedictine habit to Saint Ratchis, king of the Lombards. By contrast, Zachary's successor had to enter into the defensive alliance with the Frankish Pepin the Short, which had the ambiguously felicitous result of leading to the revival of the Western Empire and led also to the protective domination of the emperor over the Roman Church which for centuries determined the course of Western history.

This Papal-Frankish alliance was prepared for by Pope Zachary's acquiescence in the deposition of the Merovingian puppet-kings and through his anointing of Pepin, who had been mayor of the palace, in 751 by the hand of his legate, Boniface at Soissons.

As a result of the iconoclastic movement, religious and political relations with Byzantium, which were noticeable weakened in these disturbances, grew ever looser. Zachary denounced the iconoclastic policy of Emperor Constantine Copronymus.

On the other hand, the Church made vast strides in the realm of the Franks, above all in Germany, through the work of reorganization and the missionary zeal of Saint Boniface, whom he consecrated archbishop of Mainz. Zachary assisted the labors of the Apostle of the Germans in every way. Two interesting letters of the pope to Boniface have survived, which give the impression of a man of great vigor and deep sympathy. He told Boniface to suspend polygamous and murderous priests, to abolish superstitious practices even if these were practiced at Rome, and to recognize the baptisms of those whose Latin was extremely inaccurate (the intention was there to do what the Church intends, even though the form was defective). At his synod of 745, he condemned the heretics Clement and Adalbert who had caused Boniface a good deal of grief.

On the other hand, Boniface was proven to be all too human on another occasion. He wrote to Zachary against an Irish priest named Virgilius, saying that he sowed the seeds of discord between him and Duke Odilo of Bavaria, and erroneously taught that there were other men under the earth, another sun and moon, and another world. Pope Zachary answered, that if he taught such an error he ought to be deposed. This cannot be understood as a condemnation of the doctrine of Antipodes (that the earth is round), as some have mistaken. Rather, there was a heresy that maintained there was another race of men, who did not descend from Adam, and were not redeemed by Christ. Nor did Zachary pronounce any sentence in the case: for in the same letter he ordered that Virgilius should be sent to Rome so that this doctrine might be examined. It seems that he cleared himself, for we find this same priest soon after made bishop of Salzburg, Austria, and, in 1233, formally canonized as Saint Virgilius. It seems that the friction between the two saints was probably a result of jurisdictional conflicts and the tension between Roman and Celtic liturgical customs. In any case, Pope Zachary was a peace-maker and judged no man without a hearing.

Zachary was also responsible for restoring Montecassino under Saint Petronax and himself consecrated its abbey church in 748. The saint was known for aiding the poor, provided refuge to nuns driven from Constantinople by the iconoclasts, ransomed slaves from the Venetians, forbade the selling of Christian slaves to the Moors of Africa, and translated Saint Gregory the Great's Dialogues into Greek. Since "Zacharias embraced and cherished all people like a father and a good shepherd, and never allowed even the smallest injustice to happen to anyone," he was venerated as a saint immediately after his death (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth, Schamoni).


Saint Zacharias is depicted making peace with King Luitprand. Sometimes he may have a dove and olive branch over him (do not confuse him with Saint Silvester (Roeder).
SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0315.shtml


St. Zachary, Pope and Confessor

HE succeeded Gregory III. in 741, and was a man of singular meekness and goodness; and so far from any thought of revenge, that he heaped benefits on those who had persecuted him before his promotion to the pontificate. He loved the clergy and people of Rome to that degree, that he hazarded his life for them on occasion of the troubles which Italy fell into by the rebellion of the dukes of Spoletto and Benevento against King Luitprand. Out of respect to his sanctity and dignity, that king restored to the church of Rome all the places which belonged to it, Ameria, Horta, Narni, Ossimo, Ancona, and the whole territory of Sabina, and sent back the captives without ransom. The Lombards were moved to tears at the devotion with which they heard him perform the divine service. By a journey to Pavia, he obtained also of Luitprand, though with some difficulty, peace for the territory of Ravenna, and the restitution of the places which he had taken from the exarchate. The zeal and prudence of this holy pope appeared in many wholesome regulations, which he had made to reform or settle the discipline and peace of several churches. St. Boniface, the apostle of Germany, wrote to him against a certain priest, named Virgilius; that he laboured to sow the seeds of discord between him and Odilo, duke of Bavaria, and taught, besides other errors, that there were other men under the earth, another sun and moon, and another world. 1 Pope Zachary answered, that if he taught such an error he ought to be deposed. This cannot be understood as a condemnation of the doctrine of Antipodes, or the spherical figure of the earth, as some writers have imagined by mistake. The error here spoken of is that of certain heretics, who maintained that there was another race of men, who did not descend from Adam, and were not redeemed by Christ. Nor did Zachary pronounce any sentence in the case: for in the same letter he ordered that Virgilius should be sent to Rome, that his doctrine might be examined. It seems that he cleared himself: for we find this same Virgilius soon after made bishop of Saltzburgh. 2 Certain Venetian merchants having bought at Rome many slaves to sell to the Moors in Africa, St. Zachary forbade such an iniquitous traffic, and, paying the merchants their price, gave the slaves their liberty. He adorned Rome with sacred buildings, and with great foundations in favour of the poor and pilgrims, and gave every year a considerable sum to furnish oil for the lamps in St. Peter’s church. He died in 752, in the month of March, and is honoured in the Roman Martyrology on this day. See his letters and the Pontificals, t. 6. Conc. also Fleury, l. 42. t. 9. p. 349.

Note 1. Quod alius mondus et alii homines sub terra sint, seu alius sol et luna. (Ep. 10. t. 6. Conc. p. 15. 21. et Bibl. Patr. inter Epist. S. Bonif.) To imagine different worlds of men upon earth, some not descending from Adam, nor redeemed by Christ, is contrary to the holy scriptures, and therefore justly condemned as erroneous, as Baronius observes. (add. ann. 784. n. 12.) [back]

Note 2. Many ancient philosophers thought the earth flat, not spherical, and believed no Antipodes. Several fathers adopted this vulgar error in philosophy, in which faith no way interferes, as St. Austin, (1. 16. de Civ. Dei. c. 9.) Bede, (l. 4. de Principiis Philos.) and Cosmas the Egyptian, surnamed Indicopleustes. It is, however, a mistake to imagine, with Montfaucon, in his preface to this last-mentioned author, that this was the general opinion of Christian philosophers down to the fifteenth century. For the learned Philophonus demonstrated before the modern discoveries, (de Mundi Creat. l. 3. c. 13.) that the greater part of the fathers teach the world to be a sphere, as Saint Basil, the two SS. Gregories, of Nazianzum and of Nyssa, Saint Athanasius, &c. And several amongst them mention Antipodes, as Saint Hilary, (in Ps. 2. n. 32.) Origen, (l. 2. de princip. c. 3.) Saint Clement, pope, &c. [back]

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