mardi 3 février 2015

Saint ANSCHAIRE (ou ANSKAR, ou ANSCHAR, ou ANSGARIUS, ou OSCAR), évêque


Saint Anschaire, évêque

Anschaire (801-865), moine de Corbie, fut envoyé vers 826 en Saxe, d'où il organisa la pénétration de l'Evangile au Danemark, en Schleswig et en Suède. Les papes en firent un évêque de Hambourg (821), puis de Brême (847) et leur légat pour tous les Pays scandinaves.

Saint Anschaire


Évêque de Hambourg et de Brême ( 865)

ou Anskar ou Oscar. 

Il quitta la Picardie et son abbaye bénédictine de Corbie, qui en ce temps était un centre très vivant de sciences et de sainteté. Il fonda tout d'abord une abbaye en Saxe, à Corwey (Corbie) puis il évangélisa les "hommes du nord", les "Normands" d'abord au Danemark, puis en Suède, avec les armées franques du roi Clotaire. 

Au nord ouest de Stockholm, dans l'île de Björke, et dans la région du Russland, il fonda un monastère d'où il évangélisa les Varègues, ces Normands de l'Est qui descendaient le Dniepr jusqu'à la Mer Noire et qui furent les "Rus", les premiers chrétiens de Kiev, un siècle avant la conversion du prince Vladimir. 

Il revint au nord de la Germanie et se vit confier l'évêché de Brême où se termina son pèlerinage terrestre.

Sa vie a été décrite par saint Rembert, son successeur.

Il est également vénéré dans les Églises d'Orient et le synaxaire orthodoxe dit de lui: "Il n'entreprenait rien sans avoir consulté Dieu." 


Mémoire de saint Anschaire, évêque de Hambourg, puis en même temps de Brême en Saxe. D’abord moine de Corbie, il fut envoyé par le pape Grégoire IV comme légat pour toute l’Europe du Nord. Il annonça l’Évangile à une multitude de peuples au Danemark et en Suède et y établit l’Église du Christ, malgré bien des difficultés qu’il surmonta de grand cœur, jusqu’à ce que, épuisé par ses travaux, il trouve le repos à Brême, en 865.


Martyrologe romain

"Si j’avais le don des miracles, le premier que je ferais serait de changer ma mauvaise nature en celle d’un honnête homme" 

Saint Anschaire, en réponse à l’un de ses disciples qui admirait ses miracles


Anskar, Apôtre de la Suède



Edited by Michael Walsh. Harper & Row, Publishers, San Francisco, 1987

Anskar est né vers 801 dans une famille noble près d'Amiens (Belgique, jusqu'à l'invasion française du début du 15ème s). Il fut envoyé au proche monastère royal de Corbie, Picardie. Il y aurait tissé d'étroits liens avec l'empereur Charlemagne et avec Paschase Radbert qui était son tuteur. Une vision qu'il eut de la Vierge Marie et de la mort de Charlemagne l'impressionna tant qu'il perdit toute gaieté juvénile et ne pensa plus qu'à prêcher aux païens comme étant la forme rapprochant le plus du martyre. Il devint moine, d'abord à Corbie, puis à Nouvelle Corbie (Corvey), en Westphalie (Germanie). Il y fut pour la première fois engagé en travail pastoral. Harold, roi du Danemark, était en fuite de son pays, avait été baptisé à la court de Louis le Débonnaire. Lorsqu'il fut prêt à retourner dans son royaume, il prit Anskar avec lui, de même que le moine Autbert, afin de convertir les Danois. Ils eurent du succès, en gagnant beaucoup à la Foi, et ouvrant une école, probablement à Hedeby. A l'invitation de Bjoern, roi de Suède, Anskar partit ensuite avec plusieurs autres y prêcher l'Évangile. En 831, le roi Louis le nomma abbé de Nouvelle Corbie, puis archevêque d'Hambourg. Le pape de Rome Grégoire IV en fit son légat auprès des peuples nordiques. Il y oeuvra durant 13 ans, organisant des missions au Danemark, en Norvège et en Suède, de même que dans le nord de la Germanie, construisant des églises et fondant une bibliothèque.


Une grande incursion de païens du Nord en 845 détruisit Hambourg, suite à quoi, Suède et Danemark rechutèrent dans l'idolâtrie. Anskar continua à soutenir ses églises ravagées en Germanie, jusqu'à ce que le siège épiscopal de Bremen soit vacant. Le pape de Rome, Nicolas I, finit par réunir ce siège à celui d'Hambourg, et nomma Anskar pour veiller sur les deux. Il retourna alors au Danemark, et sa présence amena vite la Foi à renaître. En Suède, le superstitieux roi Olaf hésitait beaucoup quand à accepter ou non les missionnaires Chrétiens. Le saint s'affligea de voir la religion traitée avec une telle légèreté, et recommanda le problème au soin de Dieu. L'issue s'avéra favorable, et l'évêque fonda de nombreuses églises, qu'il laissa aux soins de zélés pasteurs avant de rentrer à Bremen.

Saint Anskar avait un extraordinaire talent pour prêcher, et sa charité envers les pauvres ne connaissait pas de bornes; il lavait leurs pieds et les servait à table. Lorsqu'un de ses disciples vanta à voix haute les miracles que le saint avait accomplis, Anskar le réprimanda, disant : "si j'étais digne d'une telle faveur de Dieu, je Lui demanderait de m'accorder ce seul miracle, que par Sa grâce il fasse de moi un homme bon." Il portait un cilice et, aussi longtemps que sa vie le lui permit, il vécu de pain et d'eau. Pour stimuler la dévotion, il composa une collection de courtes prières, et en plaça une à la fin de chaque Psaume. On peut retrouver de telles insertions dans d'anciens psautiers manuscrits.

Il mourut à Bremen à 67 ans, la 34ème année de son épiscopat, et tout le Nord le pleura. Mais bien que saint Anskar fut le premier à prêcher l'Évangile en Suède, après sa mort, ce pays retomba entièrement dans le paganisme. La conversion du pays sera l'oeuvre de saint Sigfrid et d'autres missionnaires au 11ème siècle.


SOURCE : http://stmaterne.blogspot.ca/2008/02/saint-anschaire-aptre-belge-de-la.html

Notre père parmi les saints Ansgar, Apôtre du Nord et Illuminateur du Danemark, aussi appelé Anskar, Anschaire ou Oscar, né le 8 septembre (?) 801, endormit dans le Seigneur le 3 février 865, fut archevêque d'Hambourg-Bremen. Son jour de Fête est son dies natalis, le 3 février.

Vie

Ansgar naquit à Amiens. Pendant un certain temps, il résida avec le roi baptisé du Danemark, Harald Klak, et lorsque Louis le Pieux, à Worms, en 829, fut mandé par 2 représentants de Suède et le roi suédois Björn à Haute, il nomma Anschaire missionnaire. Les représentants avaient prétendu que plusieurs Suédois voulaient se convertir au Christianisme. Anschaire arriva à Birka en 829, accompagné du moine Witmar, et une petite assemblée fut formée en 831, qui comprenait le propre aide du roi, Hergeir, comme membre le plus éminent. Le siège d'Hambourg fut nommé "mission pour apporter le Christianisme au Nord,", et saint Anschaire se retrouva ainsi appelé l'Apôtre du Nord.

Il mourut en 854 à Bremen. Son hagiographie a été écrite par son successeur comme archevêque, Rimber, c'est la Vita Ansgari.

A Hambourg, on trouve une statue qui lui est dédiée, et une croix de pierre à Birka (
Björkö, Suède)


St. Anschar

(Or ANSGARIUS.)

Called the Apostle of the North, was b. in Picardy, 8 September, 801; d. 5 February, 865. He became a Benedictine of Corbie, whence lie passed into Westphalia. With Harold, the newly baptized King of Denmark who had been expelled from his kingdom but was now returning, he and Autbert went to preach the Faith in that country where Ebbo, the Archbishop of Reims, had already laboured but without much success. Anschar founded a school at Schleswig, but the intemperate zeal of Harold provoked another storm which ended in a second expulsion, and the consequent return of the missionaries. In the company of the ambassadors of Louis le Débonnaire, he then entered Sweden, and preached the Gospel there. Although the embassy had been attacked on its way and had apparently abandoned its mission, Anschar succeeded in entering the country, and was favourably received by the king, who permitted him to preach. The chief of the royal counsellors, Herigar, was converted, and built the first church of Sweden. Anschar remained there a year and a half, and returning was made bishop of the new see of Hamburg, and appointed by Gregory IV legate of the northern nations. He revived also the abbey of Turholt in Flanders, and established a school there. In 845 Eric, the King of Jutland, appeared off Hamburg with a fleet of 600 vessels, and destroyed the city. Anschar was for some time a fugitive and was deprived also of his Flemish possessions by Charles the Bald, but on the accession of Louis the German was restored to his see. The bishopric of Bremen which had been the See of Leudric, his enemy, was at the same time united to Hamburg, but though the arrangement was made in 847 it was not confirmed by the Pope until 857, and Anschar was made the first archbishop. Meantime he made frequent excursions to Denmark, ostensibly in the quality of envoy of King Louis. He built a church at Schleswig and afterwards went as Danish ambassador to his old mission of Sweden. King Olaf regarded him with favour, but the question of permitting him to preach was submitted to the oracles, which are said to have given a favourable answer. It was probably due to the prayers of the saint. A church was built and a priest established there. In 854 we find him back in Denmark, where he succeeded in changing the enmity of King Eric into friendship. Eric had expelled the priests who had been left at Schleswig, but at the request of Anschar recalled them. The saint built another church in Jutland and introduced the use of bells, which the pagans regarded as instruments of magic, he also induced the king to mitigate the horrors of the slave-trade. He was eminent for his piety, mortification, and observance of the monastic rule, he built hospitals, ransomed captives, sent immense alms abroad, and regretted only that he had not been found worthy of martyrdom. Though he wrote several works, very little of them remains. He had added devotional phrases to the psalms, which, according to Fabricius, in his Latin Library of the Middle Ages, are an illustrious monument, to the piety of the holy prelate. He had also compiled a life of St. Willehad, first Bishop of Bremen, and the preface which he wrote was considered a masterpiece for that age. It is published by Fabricius among the works of the historians of Hamburg. Some letters of his are also extant. He is known in Germany as St. Scharies and such is the title of his collegiate church in Bremen. Another in Hamburg under the same title was converted into an orphan asylum by the Lutherans. All of his success as a missionary he ascribed to the piety of Louis le Débonnaire and the apostolic zeal of his predecessor in the work, Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims, who, however, as a matter of fact, had failed.

Sources

Acta SS., I, Feb.; MICHAUD, Biog. Univ.; HERGENRÖTHER, Kircheng. (1904) II, 180-84; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, 3 Feb.


Campbell, Thomas. "St. Anschar." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 3 Feb. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01544c.htm>.


ST. ANSCHARIUS, C.,


From Butler's Lives of the Saints 1895:

ARCHBISHOP OF HAMBURG AND BREMEN.

From his excellent life compiled by St. Rembert, his successor, with the remarks of Mabillon, Act. Bened t. 4, p. 401, and the preliminary discourse of Henschenius, p. 391. Adam Bremensis, Hist. Episc. Hamb. and Olof Dolin, in his new excellent history of Sweden in the reigns of Listen, Bel, and Bagnar, c. 16. 

A.D. 865.

HE was a monk, first of Old Corbie in France, afterwards of Little Corbie in Saxony. Harold, or Heriold, prince of Denmark, having been baptized in the court of the emperor Louis Debonnaire, Anscarius preached the faith with great success, first to the Danes, afterwards to the Swedes, and lastly in the north of Germany. In 832, he was made archbishop of Hamburg, and legate of the holy see, by pope Gregory IV. That city was burnt by an army of Normans, in 845. The saint continued to support his desolate churches, till, in 849, the see of Bremen becoming vacant, pope Nicholas united it to that of Hamburg, and appointed him bishop of both. Denmark and Sweden had relapsed into idolatry, notwithstanding the labors of many apostolical missionaries from New Corbie, left there by our saint. His presence soon made the faith flourish again in Denmark, under the protection of king Horick. But in Sweden the superstitious king Olas cast lots whether he should be admitted or no. The saint, grieved to see the cause of God and religion committed to the cast of a die, recommended the issue to the care of heaven. The lot proved favorable, and the bishop converted many of the lower rank, and established many churches there, which he left under zealous pastors at his return to Bremen. He wore a rough hair shirt, and, while his health permitted him, contented himself with a small quantity of bread and water. He never undertook any thing without recommending it first to God by earnest prayer, and had an extraordinary talent for preaching. His charity to the poor had no bounds; he washed their feet, and waited on them at table. He ascribed it to his sins, that he never met with the glory of martyrdom in all that he had suffered for the faith. To excite himself to compunction and to the divine praise, he made a collection of pathetic sentences, some of which he placed at the end of each psalm; several of which are found in certain manuscript psalters, as Fleury takes notice. The learned Fabricius, in his Latin Library of the middle ages, calls them an illustrious monument of the piety of this holy prelate. St. Anscharius died at Bremen in the year 865, the sixty-seventh of his age, and thirty-fourth of his episcopal dignity; and was honored with miracles. His name occurs in the Martyrologies soon after his death. In the German language he is called St. Scharies, and his collegiate church of Bremen Sant-Scharies. That at Hamburg, which bore his name, has been converted by the Lutherans into an hospital for orphans. His name was rather Ansgar, as it {345} is written in his own letter, and in a charter of Louis Debonnaire. In this letter[1] he attributes all the fruits and glory of the conversion of the Northern nations, to which he preached, to the zeal of that emperor and of Ebbo, archbishop of Rheims, without taking the least notice of himself or his own labors. The life of St. Willehad, first bishop of Bremen, who died in 789 or 791, compiled by St. Anscharius, is a judicious and elegant work, and the preface a masterpiece for that age. It is abridged and altered by Surius, but published entire at Cologne, in 1642; and more correctly by Mabillon; and again by Fabricius, among the historians of Hamburg, t. 2. 

Footnotes:

1. Ap. Bolland. et. Mabill.



Ansgar B (RM)
(also known as Anskar, Anschar, Anscharius, Scharies) Born near Amiens, Picardy, France in 801; died in Bremen, Germany on February 3, 865.



With the coming of the barbarian after the death of Charlemagne, darkness fell upon Europe. From the forests and fjords of the north, defying storm and danger, came a horde of pirate invaders, prowling round the undefended coasts, sweeping up the broad estuaries, and spreading havoc and fear. No town, however fair, no church, however sacred, and no community, however strong, was immune from their fury. Like a river of death the Vikings poured across Europe.

It's hard to believe that there would be an outbreak of missionary activity at such a time, but in Europe's darkest hour there were those who never faltered, and who set out to convert the pagan invader. Saint Ansgar was such a man. As a young boy of a noble family he was received at Corbie monastery in Picardy and educated under Saints Abelard and Paschasius Radbert. Once professed, he was transferred to New Corbie at Westphalia. He once said to a friend, "One miracle I would, if worthy, ask the Lord to grant me; and that is, that by His grace, he would make me a good man."

In France a call was made for a priest to go as a missionary to the Danes, and Ansgar, a young monk, volunteered. His friends tried to dissuade him, so dangerous was the mission. Nevertheless, when King Harold, who had become a Christian during his exile, returned to Denmark, Ansgar and another monk accompanied him. Equipped with tents and books, these two monks set out in 826 and founded a school in Denmark. Here Anskar's companion died, and he was obliged to move on to Sweden alone when his success in missionary work led King Bjoern to invite him to Sweden.

On the way, his boat was attacked by pirates and he lost all his possessions, arriving destitute at a small Swedish village. After this unpromising start, he succeeded in forming the nucleus of a church--the first Christian church in Sweden--and penetrated inland, confronting the heathen in their strongholds and converting the pagan chiefs.

Ansgar became the first archbishop of Hamburg, Germany, and abbot of New Corbie in Westphalia c. 831. The Pope Gregory IV appointed him legate to the Scandinavian countries and confided the Scandinavian souls to his care. He evangelized there for the next 14 years, building churches in Norway, Denmark, and northern Germany.

He saw his accomplishments obliterated when pagan Vikings invaded in 845, overran Scandinavia, and destroyed Hamburg. Thereafter, the natives reverted to paganism. Ansgar was then appointed first archbishop of Bremen around 848, but he was unable to establish himself there for a time and Pope Nicholas I united that see with Hamburg. Nicholas also gave him jurisdiction over Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Ansgar returned to Denmark and Sweden in 854 to resume spreading the Gospel. When he returned to Denmark he saw the church and school he had built there destroyed before his eyes by an invading army.

His heart almost broke as he saw his work reduced to ashes. "The Lord gave," he said, "and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord." With a handful of followers he wandered through his ruined diocese, but it was a grim and weary time. "Be assured, my dear brother," said the primate of France, who had commissioned him to this task, "that what we have striven to accomplish for the glory of Christ will yet, by God's help, bring forth fruit."

Heartened by these words, and with unfailing courage, Anskar pursued his Swedish mission. Though he had but four churches left and could find no one willing to go in his place, he established new outposts and consolidated his work.

King Olaf had cast a die to decide whether to allow the entrance of Christians, an action that Ansgar mourned as callous and unbefitting. He was encouraged, however, by a council of chiefs at which an aged man spoke in his defense. "Those who bring to us this new faith," he said, "by their voyage here have been exposed to many dangers. We see our own deities failing us. Why reject a religion thus brought to our very doors? Why not permit the servants of God to remain among us? Listen to my counsel and reject not what is plainly for our advantage."

As a result, Ansgar was free to preach the Christian faith, and though he met with many setbacks, he continued his work until he died at he age of 64 and was buried at Bremen. He was a great missionary, an indefatigable, outstanding preacher, renowned for his austerity, holiness of life, and charity to the poor. He built schools and was a great liberator of slaves captured by the Vikings. He converted King Erik of the Jutland and was called the 'Apostle of the North.' Yet Sweden reverted completely to paganism shortly after Ansgar's death.

Ansgar often wore a hairshirt, lived on bread and water when his health permitted it, and added short personal prayers to each Psalm in his psalter, thus contributing to a form of devotion that soon became widespread.

Miracles were said to have been worked by him. After Ansgar's death, the work he had begun came to a stop and the area reverted to paganism. Christianity did not begin to make headway in Scandinavia until two centuries later with the work of Saint Sigfrid and others. A life was written about Ansgar by his fellow missionary in Scandinavia, Saint Rembert (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Robinson, White).

In art Ansgar shown with converted Danes near him (White), wearing a fur pelisse (Roeder). He may sometimes be shown otherwise in a boat with King Harold and companions or in a cope and miter, holding Hamburg Cathedral (Roeder).

Saint Ansgar is the patron of Denmark, Germany, and Iceland (White). He is venerated in Old Corbie (Picardy) and New Corbie (Saxony) as well as in Scandinavia (Roeder).



Life of Anskar, the Apostle of the North, 801-865 : http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/anskar.asp