vendredi 12 septembre 2014

Saint PAPHNUCE (11 septembre), évêque et confesseur

Saint Paphnuce


Évêque en Égypte ( 360)

Moine, il devint évêque de la Thébaïde et confessa sa foi sous l'empereur Maximien. Les mutilations dont il fut victime: œil droit crevé, tendon d'Achille de la jambe gauche coupé et condamnation aux mines, lui donnèrent un grand prestige auprès des Pères du Concile de Nicée quand il siégea au milieu d'eux.


Commémoraison de saint Paphnuce, évêque en Égypte au IVe siècle. Il fut l’un de ces confesseurs de la foi, qui, sous l’empereur Galère, eurent l’œil droit arraché et le jarret gauche coupé, puis furent condamnés aux mines; il participa par la suite au Concile de Nicée et combattit activement pour la foi catholique contre les ariens.

Martyrologe romain


Saint Paphnutius

The holy confessor St. Paphnutius was an Egyptian who, after having spent several years in the desert under the direction of the great St. Antony, was made bishop in the Upper Thebaid. He was one of those confessors who under the Emperor Maximinus lost the right eye, were hamstrung in one leg, and were afterwards sent to work in the mines.
Peace being restored to the Church, Paphnutius returned to his flock, bearing all the rest of his life the glorious marks of his sufferings for the name of his Crucified Master. He was one of the most zealous in defending the Catholic faith against the Arian heresy and for his holiness. As one who had confessed the Faith before persecutors and under torments, he was an outstanding figure of the first General Council of the Church, held at Nicaea in the year 325.
Paphnutius, a man who had observed the strictest continence all his life, is said to have distinguished himself at the Council by his opposition to clerical celibacy. Paphnutius said that it was enough to conform to the ancient tradition of the Church, which forbade the clergy marrying after their ordination.
To this day it is the law of the Eastern Churches, whether Catholic or dissident, that married men may receive all Holy Orders below the episcopate, and continue to live freely with their wives. St. Paphnutius is sometimes called “the Great” to distinguish him from other saints of the same name; the year of his death is not known. His feast day is September 11.


Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 11
Paphnutius
Saint Paphnutius

Maurice M. Hassett

I. The most celebrated personage of this name was bishop of a city in the Upper Thebaid in the early fourth century, and one of the most interesting members of the Council of Nicæa (325). He suffered mutilation of the left knee and the loss of his right eye for the Faith under the Emperor Maximinus (308-13), and was subsequently condemned to the mines. At Nicæa he was greatly honoured by Constantine the Great, who, according to Socrates (H. E., I, 11), used often to send for the good old confessor and kiss the place whence the eye had been torn out. He took a prominent, perhaps a decisive, part in the debate at the First Œcumenical Council on the subject of the celibacy of the clergy. It seems that most of the bishops present were disposed to follow the precedent of the Council of Elvira (can. xxxiii) prohibiting conjugal relations to those bishops, priests, deacons, and, according to Sozomen, sub-deacons, who were married before ordination. Paphnutius earnestly entreated his fellow-bishops not to impose this obligation on the orders of the clergy concerned. He proposed, in accordance "with the ancient tradition of the Church", that only those who were celibates at the time of ordination should continue to observe continence, but, on the other hand, that "none should be separated from her, to whom, while yet unordained, he had been united". The great veneration in which he was held, and the well known fact that he had himself observed the strictest chastity all his life, gave weight to his proposal, which was unanimously adopted. The council left it to the discretion of the married clergy to continue or discontinue their marital relations. Paphnutius was present at the Synod of Tyre (335).

II. PAPHNUTIUS, surnamed (on account of his love of solitude) THE BUFFALO, an anchorite and priest of the Scetic desert in Egypt in the fourth century. When Cassian (Coll., IV, 1) visited him in 395, the Abbot Paphnutius was in his ninetieth year. He never left his cell save to attend church on Saturdays and Sundays, five miles away. When in his paschal letter of the year 399, the Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria condemned anthropomorphism, Paphnutius was the only monastic ruler in the Egyptian desert who caused the document to be read.

III. PAPHNUTIUS, deacon of the church of Boou, in Egypt, suffered martyrdom in the persecution of Diocletian, under the Prefect Culcianus.

HEFELE-LECLERCQ, Histoire des conciles, I, i (Paris, 1907).

MAURICE M. HASSETT

"Paphnutius". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.

SOURCE : http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Paphnutius



St. Paphnutius, Bishop and Confessor

THE HOLY confessor Paphnutius was an Egyptian, and after having spent several years in the desert, under the direction of the great St. Antony, was made bishop in Upper Thebais. He was one of those confessors who, under the tyrant Maximin Daia, lost their right eye, and were afterwards sent to work in the mines. Sozomen and Theodoret add, that his left ham was cut; by which we are to understand that the sinews were cut so as to render the left leg entirely useless. Eusebius takes notice that this punishment was inflicted on many Christians in that bloody reign. Peace being restored to the church, Paphnutius returned to his flock, bearing all the rest of his life the glorious marks of his sufferings for the name of his crucified master. The Arian heresy being broached in Egypt, he was one of the most zealous in defending the Catholic faith, and for his eminent sanctity, and the glorious title of confessor, (or one who had confessed the faith before the persecutors, and under torments,) was highly considered in the great council of Nice. Constantine the Great, during the celebration of that synod, sometimes conferred privately with him in his palace, and never dismissed him without kissing respectfully the place where the eye he had lost for the faith was once situated.

The fathers of the council of Nice, in the third canon, strictly forbid all clergymen to entertain in their houses any woman, except a mother, aunt, sister, or such as could leave no room for suspicion. 1 Socrates 2 and Sozomen 3 relate, that the bishops were for making a general law, forbidding all bishops, priests, deacons, and sub-deacons, to live with their wives whom they had married before their ordination; but that the confessor Paphnutius rose up in the midst of the assembly and opposed the motion, saying, that it was enough to conform to the ancient tradition of the church, which forbade the clergy marrying after their ordination. These authors add, that the whole council came into his way of thinking, and made no new law on that point. On account of the silence of other writers, and on the testimonies of St. Jerom, St. Epiphanius, and others, Bellarmin and Orsi 4 suspect that Socrates and Sozomen were misinformed in this story. 5 There is, however, nothing repugnant in the narration; for it might seem unadvisable to make too severe a law at that time against some married men, who, in certain obscure churches, might have been ordained without such a condition. St. Paphnutius remained always in a close union with St. Athanasius, and the other Catholic prelates. He and St. Potomon, bishop of Heraclea, with forty-seven other Egyptian bishops, accompanied their holy patriarch to the council of Tyre, in 335, where they found much the greater part of the members who composed that assembly to be professed Arians. Paphnutius seeing Maximus, bishop of Jerusalem, among them, and full of concern to find an orthodox prelate who had suffered in the late persecution, in such bad company, took him by the hand, led him out, and told him he could not see that one who bore the same marks as he in defence of the faith, should be seduced and imposed upon by persons who were resolved to oppress the most strenuous assertor of its fundamental article. He then let him into the whole plot of the Arians, which, till that moment had been a secret to the good bishop of Jerusalem, who was by this means put upon his guard against the crafty insinuations of hypocrites, and fixed for ever in the communion of St. Athanasius. We have no particular account of the death of St. Paphnutius; but his name stands in the Roman Martyrology on the 11th of September. See Stilting, p. 778.

Note 1. On account of this canon St. Basil would not suffer a certain priest to keep a woman servant who was seventy years old. St. Basil, ep. 55, t. 3. [back]

Note 2. L. 1, c. 11. [back]

Note 3. L. 1, c. 23. [back]

Note 4. L. 12, n. 48. [back]

Note 5. It is indeed certain that though the modern Greeks are content to forbid clergymen to marry after their ordination, and do not exclude from Orders those who are married before, yet the ancient discipline of the Greek Church was contrary, and the same with that of the Latin. St. Jerom and St. Epiphanius lived before Socrates; the former assures us, (adv. Vigilant, p. 281,) that the churches of the East, of Egypt, and of Rome, took none for clerks but such as were continent, or if they had wives, lived as if they had none. These are the three great patriarchates, Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch; for this last is what he calls the East. St. Epiphanius says (Hæres. 59, Cathar. n. 4,) that he who has been married but once is not admitted to be a deacon, priest, bishop, or subdeacon, whilst his wife is alive, unless he abstained from her; especially in those places where the canons are exactly observed. He objects to himself, that in certain places some of the clergy had children. To which he answers: “This is not done according to the canon, but through sloth and negligence, or on account of the multitude of the people, and because other persons are not found for those functions.”

  This law was evidently in force in Egypt; for Synesius, when chosen bishop of Cyrene or Ptolemais, hoped to put a bar to his ordination by alleging (ep. 10, p. 248,) that he would not be separated from his wife. He was, notwithstanding, ordained bishop; whether this law was dispensed with, or whether, as is most probable, he afterwards complied with it. Socrates, indeed, says, that customs varied in this article in some parts; that he had seen in Thessaly, that a clerk is excommunicated if he cohabited with his wife, though he had married her before his ordination; and that the same custom was observed in Macedon and Greece; that in the East that rule was generally observed, though without the obligation of an express law. SS. Jerom and Epiphanius were certainly better informed of the canons and discipline of the Church of Syria and Palestine, where they both spent part of their lives, than the Constantinopolitan lawyer could be; whose relation is rejected by some, who think it not reconcilable with their testimony, though the fact is not a point of such importance as some who misrepresent the relation, seem desirous to make it.

  The celibacy of the clergy is merely an ecclesiastical law, though perfectly conformable to the spirit of the gospel, and doubtless derived from the apostles. In the modern Greek church a married man is not compelled to quit his wife before he can be admitted to Orders, though this was the ancient discipline of the oriental, no less than of the western churches. However, this rule, though established by express canons, in the principal churches, yet, for some time (as Socrates was well informed) was, in certain places, a law only of custom. St. Epiphanius tells us, that contrary examples were abuses unless they were done by express dispensation, necessary where ministers were scarce; and violence was sometimes used by the people in the choice of persons the best qualified among the converts that were engaged in a state of wedlock. Nor could the law of celibacy be imposed on married persons, but by the voluntary consent of the parties. Yet such dispensations were not allowed in any of the principal churches. Socrates should have called contrary examples, where a dispensation had not been granted, abuses, had he been as well informed as St. Epiphanius and St. Jerom. See Stilting, Diss. ante Tomum 3. Septembris, § 8, p. 13, 14, 18. In Gaul, Urbicus, bishop of Clermont, in the beginning of the fourth century, who had formerly been a senator, after his ordination returned to his wife; but to expiate this transgression retired into a monastery; and, after doing penance there, returned to the government of his diocess, as St. Gregory of Tours relates. (Hist. l. 1, c. 39.) All agree that this proves the law to have been observed in Gaul. A like example demonstrates the same law in the Eastern churches. For Antoninus, bishop of Ephesus, was accused before St. Chrysostom among other things to have cohabited with his wife whom he had left at his ordination, as Palladius mentions in Vita S. Chrysostomi. [
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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume IX: September. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/9/112.html

September 11: Saint Paphnutius the Confessor

Posted by Jacob

Today, September 11, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Paphnutius the Confessor (fourth century, also known as Saint Paphnutius of Thebes), hermit, ascetic, and bishop. Saint Paphnutius suffered tremendous persecution under the Emperor Maximinus II, but never renounced his faith. When peace returned to Egypt, Paphnutius worked tirelessly to rebuild the Church in that region, making himself known as a confessor and spiritual director. Through his efforts, many were converted and restored in the faith, recorded for us today in holy legend.

Few specific details are known today about the life of Saint Paphnutius. We do not know the dates of his birth or death, but only of his works. Tradition tells us, however, he was a disciple of
Saint Anthony of the Desert. Paphnutius lived as a hermit and ascetic for some time in the desert, emptying himself of worldly desires and connections, and coming to rely fully on the Lord. Eventually, Saint Anthony elevated him to bishop.

Paphnutius lived during the last great Christian persecution, during the reign of Roman Emperor Maximinus II. At that time, the emperor would capture clergymen and, if they would not renounce the faith, gouge out their right eyes and send them to almost certain death as mine laborers. Given Saint Paphnutius’ respect and position within in the Church, the emperor was not content with simply gouging out his eye. Upon capture, he ordered that the sinews of his left leg be cut as well. Sent to the mines, Paphnutius was unable to walk properly for the rest of his life.

Through the grace of God, Paphnutius outlived Emperor Maximinus’ short reign, and was able to leave the mines and return to Egypt. When the persecution ended, these faithful “surviving” Christians were dubbed “confessors” for having confessed their faith even in the face of such costly consequences. Back in Egypt, Paphnutius set about rebuilding the region’s Church and congregations as a model pastor, actively fighting against the Arian heresy which began soon thereafter. He ministered to his flock and defended Orthodoxy until his death. He was also highly respected by the Emperor Constantine who sometimes asked the saint for personal advice, and never dismissed him without kissing respectfully the place which had once held the eye he had lost for the Faith.

Saint Paphnutius is mostly remembered for his actions during Church Councils, including the First Council of Nicaea (325). Later, at another Council that met to address Arianism, he saw a fellow confessor (Maximus, bishop of Jerusalem) sitting among the heretical bishops. His heart was almost broken to see someone who had already suffered so much for the true faith forsaking it. Paphnutius approached Maximus, took him by the hand and led him outside of the council chambers, where he warmly but urgently appealed to the prelate to return to the fullness of the true faith. Maximus was so moved that when they returned to the council he stayed by Paphnutius’ side and sat with the Catholic bishops, and from then on he always upheld the Catholic faith.

Paphnutius was also a great friend of Pope Saint Athanasius I (c. 293-373). When charges of decadent and inappropriate behavior were brought against Athanasius, Paphnutius was one of the forty-nine bishops who attended the First Synod of Tyre (335) and helped to clear Athanasius' name.

From 'The Desert Fathers,’ the story of a pilgrimage made through Egypt in AD 394, by a brother, possibly Timotheus, from Rufinus' own monastery on the Mount of Olives:

'We saw also the cell of the holy Paphnutius, the man of God, that was the most famous of all the anchorites in these parts, and that had lived the most remote inhabitant of the desert round about Heracleos, that shining city of the Thebaid.

Of him we had a most warrantable account from the Fathers, how at one time, after living an angelic life, he had prayed to God that He would show him which of the saints he was thought to be like. And an angel stood by him and answered that he was like a certain singing man, that earned his bread by singing in the village. Dumbfounded at the strangeness of the answer, he made his way with all haste to the village, and sought for the man. And when he had found him, he questioned him closely as to what works of piety and religion he had ever done, and narrowly enquired into all his deeds. But the man answered that the truth was that he was a sinful man of degraded life, and that not long before from being a robber he had sunk to the squalid craft which he was now seen to exercise. But for this Paphnutius was the more insistent, asking if perchance some good thing might have cropped up amidst his thieving. “I can think of nothing good about me,” said he: “but this I know that once when I was among the robbers we captured a virgin consecrated to God: and when the rest of my company were for deflowering her, I threw myself in the midst and snatched her from their staining, and brought her by night as far as the town, and restored her untouched to her house. Another time too, I found a comely woman wandering in the desert. And when I asked her why and how she had come into these parts, ‘Ask me nothing,’ said she, ‘nor question me for reasons, that am the wretchedest of women, but if it pleases thee to have a handmaid, take me where thou wilt. I have a husband that for arrears of tax hath often been hung up and scourged, and is kept in prison and tortured, nor ever brought out unless to suffer torment. We had three sons also that were taken for the same debt. And because they seek me also to suffer the same pains, I flee in my misery from place to place, worn out with grief and hunger, and I have been in hiding, wandering through these parts, and for three days have had no food.’ And when I heard this, I had pity for her, and took her to the cave and restored her soul that was faint with hunger and gave her the three hundred solidi for which she and her husband and their three sons were liable, she said, not only to slavery but to torture; and she returned to the city and paid the money and freed them all.” Then said Paphnutius, “I have done naught like that, yet I think it may have come to thine ears that the name of Paphnutius is famous among the monks. For it was with no small pains that I sought to fashion my life in this kind of discipline. Wherefore God has shown me this concerning thee, that thou hast no less merit before Him than I. And so, brother, seeing that thou hast not the lowest room with God, neglect not thy soul.” And straightway he flung away the pipes that he carried in his hand, and followed him to the desert, and transforming his skill in music into a spiritual harmony of life and mind, he gave himself for three whole years to the strictest abstinence, busying himself day and night in psalms and prayer, and taking the heavenly road with the powers of the soul, gave up his spirit amid the angelic host of the saints.”

Paphnutius was esteemed by all for his great simplicity and holiness of life. He withstood the persecutions of his age, remaining true to the faith, and inspiring those around him to do the same. Through his simple example, many came to know God and turned from their sinfulness to the newness of life. We are called to the same task—through our witness, through our daily acts, through the manner in which we lead our lives—to inspire others to lives of greater sanctity and holiness, pleasing to the Lord.

Inspired by the origins and spiritual
history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.
Psalm: Psalm 139: The All-knowing and Ever-present God

1 O LORD, you have searched me 
and you know me. 

2 You know when I sit and when I rise; 
you perceive my thoughts from afar. 

3 You discern my going out and my lying down; 
you are familiar with all my ways. 

4 Before a word is on my tongue 
you know it completely, O LORD. 

5 You hem me in—behind and before; 
you have laid your hand upon me. 

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
too lofty for me to attain. 

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? 
Where can I flee from your presence? 

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there. 

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
if I settle on the far side of the sea, 

10 even there your hand will guide me, 
your right hand will hold me fast. 

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me 
and the light become night around me," 

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; 
the night will shine like the day, 
for darkness is as light to you. 

13 For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb. 

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well. 

15 My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 

16 your eyes saw my unformed body. 
All the days ordained for me 
were written in your book 
before one of them came to be. 

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! 
How vast is the sum of them! 

18 Were I to count them, 
they would outnumber the grains of sand. 
When I awake, 
I am still with you. 

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! 
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 

20 They speak of you with evil intent; 
your adversaries misuse your name. 

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, 
and abhor those who rise up against you? 

22 I have nothing but hatred for them; 
I count them my enemies. 

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; 
test me and know my anxious thoughts. 

24 See if there is any offensive way in me, 
and lead me in the way everlasting.




Paphnutius

The most celebrated personage of this name was bishop of a city in the Upper Thebaid in the early fourth century, and one of the most interesting members of the Council of Nicæa (325). He suffered mutilation of the left knee and the loss of his right eye for the Faith under the Emperor Maximinus (308-13), and was subsequently condemned to the mines. At Nicæa he was greatly honoured by Constantine the Great, who, according to Socrates (Church History I.11), used often to send for the good old confessor and kiss the place whence the eye had been torn out. He took a prominent, perhaps a decisive, part in the debate at the First Œcumenical Council on the subject of the celibacy of the clergy. It seems that most of the bishops present were disposed to follow the precedent of the Council of Elvira (can. xxxiii) prohibiting conjugal relations to those bishops, priests, deacons, and, according to Sozomen, sub-deacons, who were married before ordination. Paphnutius earnestly entreated his fellow-bishops not to impose this obligation on the orders of the clergy concerned. He proposed, in accordance "with the ancient tradition of the Church", that only those who were celibates at the time of ordination should continue to observe continence, but, on the other hand, that "none should be separated from her, to whom, while yet unordained, he had been united". The great veneration in which he was held, and the well known fact that he had himself observed the strictest chastity all his life, gave weight to his proposal, which was unanimously adopted. The council left it to the discretion of the married clergy to continue or discontinue their marital relations. Paphnutius was present at the Synod of Tyre (335).

Sources

HEFELE-LECLERCQ, Histoire des conciles, I, i (Paris, 1907).

Hassett, Maurice. "Paphnutius." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 11 Sept. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11457a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.