mercredi 11 février 2015

Saint GRÉGOIRE II, Pape et confesseur



Saint Grégoire II (715-731)

Né à Rome.

Ce fut avec lui que le pouvoir temporel des Papes commença. S’en suivirent les désaccords avec l’empereur d’Orient et avec l’exarque de Ravenne.

Lors d’un concile il ordonna que soit condamnée l’iconoclastie (destruction d’images sacrées).

Il promut une intense oeuvre d’évangélisation des peuples germaniques.

SOURCE : http://eglise.de.dieu.free.fr/liste_des_papes_06.htm

Celui qui allait devenir le 89e Pape de l’histoire de l’Église sous le nom de Grégoire II naquit à Rome en 669.

Encore diacre, il avait participé aux discussions du concile de Constantinople en 692 qui marqua déjà les dissensions entre l'Eglise de Rome et Byzance.

Élu Pape le 19 mai 715, après quarante jours de vacance du Siège Apostolique, Grégoire II n’en finit pas pour autant ses démêlés avec l’empereur de Byzance.

En effet, celui-ci voulut imposer ses taxes sur les territoires soumis à la juridiction du Pape et l'exarque de Ravenne se heurta à un conflit avec les détachements de l'armée locale qui soutenait le Pape. Le conflit s'étendit au domaine théologique quand l'empereur, prenant position dans le domaine dogmatique, attaqua le culte des saintes Images et déposa le patriarche de Constantinople. De militaire, le conflit devint en même temps doctrinal. L'exarque de Ravenne soutenant alors le Pape réussit à empêcher les Lombards encore païens de prendre part aux campagnes militaires.

Malgré tous ces soucis — ou peut-être à cause d’eux, Grégoire II n'oublia pas l'évangélisation des peuples germaniques, et autres, car dès la première année de son pontificat, il envoya Corbinien en mission évangélique en Allemangne. Puis, un peu plus tard, le 15 mai 719, il confia à Wynfrid de Wessex (S. Boniface) la mission d’évangéliser la Hesse et la Thuringe.

Son action se dirigea aussi vers la reconstruction du patrimoine de l’Église détruit pas les guerres. Ce fut ainsi qu’il demanda à Petronax de rétablir l’abbaye du Mont-Cassin détruite par les Lombards 140 ans auparavant.

On retiendra cela, bien entendu, mais aussi son combat pour le culte des icônes.

En 727, invité à adhérer aux édits iconoclastes de Léon II l’Isaurien, sous la menace d’une déposition immédiate, il refusa et excommunia l’exarque de Ravenne chargé d’exécuter les édits. Plus encore : Il invita les fidèles à se garder de l’hérésie proclamée par l’empereur, à qui il reprocha de ne pas vouloir défendre l’Italie.

Démontrant alors un courage exceptionnel, il empêcha les Romains de payer l’impôt à Byzance, en quoi il fut écouté non seulement par les Romains eux-mêmes, mais aussi par les troupes impériales cantonnées en Italie qui se soulevèrent et se donnèrent des chefs. L’exarque Paul fut tué dans une émeute des habitants de Ravenne. Les Romains chassèrent leur duc, s’érigèrent en République, et le Pape acquit la surintendance ministérielle de la ville et de son duché.

Mais les choses ne vont en rester là, car en 728 le roi des Lombards Luitprand assiégea et prit Ravenne. Pour se concilier le Pape, il fit don au Saint-Siège de Sutri et de son territoire. Léon II envoya un nouvel exarque, Eutychius, qui ne put rien faire sans troupe, d’autant plus que les ducs Lombards de Spolète et de Bénévent, révoltés contre leur roi, soutinrent le pape. Il se rétablit cependant à Ravenne avec l’aide de la République de Venise et à la demande du pape.

Un an plus tard, les troupes de Luitprand et d’Eutychius se présentèrent devant Rome. Alors, Grégoire II écrivit à Charles Martel pour lui demander du secours, mais en vain. Manquant d’autres arguments, il marcha à la rencontre du roi Lombard et parvint à le convaincre d’abandonner le siège de la ville.

Fatigué par un pontificat aussi tumultueux, Grégoire II rejoignit la Maison du Père le 11 février 731, laissant à son successeur, Grégoire III, le soin du Siège Apostolique. Ce dernier, dès le début de son pontificat condamna à son tour les iconoclastes et les frappa d’excommunication.

Le 13 février 731, deux jours seulement après sa mort Grégoire II fut canonisé — certainement la canonisation la plus rapide de l’histoire religieuse.

Établi d’après plusieurs documents.

Saint Grégoire II


Pape (89 ème) de 715 à 731 ( 731)

Comme diacre, il avait participé aux discussions du concile de Constantinople en 692 qui marqua déjà les dissensions entre l'Eglise de Rome et Byzance. L'empereur de Byzance voulut imposer ses taxes sur les territoires soumis à la juridiction du Pape et l'exarque de Ravenne se heurta à un conflit avec les détachements de l'armée locale qui soutenait le Pape. Le conflit s'étendit au domaine théologique quand l'empereur, prenant position dans le domaine dogmatique, attaqua le culte des saintes Images et déposa le patriarche de Constantinople. De militaire, le conflit devint en même temps doctrinal. L'exarque de Ravenne soutenant alors le Pape réussit à empêcher les Lombards encore païens de prendre part aux campagnes militaires. Malgré tant de soucis, saint Grégoire n'oubliait pas l'évangélisation des peuples germaniques et il accepta et mandata la mission de saint Boniface. On retient cela et son combat pour le culte des icônes.

Pope St. Gregory II

(Reigned 715-731).

Perhaps the greatest of the great popes who occupied the chair of Peter during the eighth century, a Roman, son of Marcellus and Honesta. To his contemporaries in the West he was known as Gregory Junior or the Younger; to those in the East, who confounded him with Gregory I (author of "Dialogues") he was "Dialogus". The year of his birth is not known, but while very young he showed a desire for the Church and was placed by the pope in the "schola cantorum". He was made a subdeacon and sacellarius (paymaster and almoner) of the Roman Church bySergius I. Then the care of the papal library was entrusted to him, and he has the honour of being the first papalalmoner or librarian known to us by name. By the time he had become a deacon, he had given such signs ofcharacter and superior intelligence that he was chosen by Pope Constantine to accompany him when he had to go to Constantinople to discuss the canons of the Quinisext Council with the truculent tyrant, Justinian II. Thepope's trust was not misplaced. The deacon Gregory "by his admirable answers", solved every difficulty raised by the emperor. One of the first things which Gregory took in hand when he became pope (19 May, 715) was to put in repair the walls of Rome. Not for the last time had the Lombards, those old enemies of the Romans, attacked their city and now a new foe had shown itself. The Mediterranean was fast becoming a Saracen lake, and there was fear that the Moslems might make a descent upon the Eternal City itself. Gregory had made good progress with his work of repair, when various causes combined with a devastating flood of the Tiber to prevent him from completing it. But throughout all his pontificate, Gregory failed not to scan with anxiety the movements of theSaracens, and he is credited with having sent tokens of encouragement to the Frankish leaders who were stemming their advance in Gaul.

In the first year of his pontificate, he received a letter from John, Patriarch of Constantinople. Addressed "to thesacred head of the Church", it was really an apology for his having shown himself subservient to Philippieus Bardanes in the matter of Monothelism. Gregory also received several distinguished pilgrims during his pontificate. Among the many Anglo-Saxon pilgrims who came to Rome during his reign, the most famous wereAbbot Ceolfrid and King Ina, of whom the one took to the pope the famous Codex Amiatinus, and the other founded the "Schola Anglorum". Duke Theodo I of Bavaria also came to Rome to pray, and no doubt to obtain from the pope more preachers of the Hospel for his country. Among those whom Gregory dispatched for theconversion of Bavaria was St. Corbibian, who became one of its apostles. But the great apostle of Bavaria, as ofGermany generally, was St. Winfrid, or Boniface, as he was afterwards called. Anxious to preach to the heathens, he went to Rome, and God "moved the pontiff of the glorious See" to grant his wishes. He sent Boniface "to the wild nations of Germany", bidding him, by the irrefragable authority of Blessed Peter, "go forth and preach thetruths of both Testaments". Gregory watched and encouraged the work of Boniface unremittingly. In 722 heconsecrated him bishop and interested the famous Charles Mantel in his labours. Gregory was a great supporter of the monastic order. On the death of his mother, he converted his parental mansion into a monastery, and founded or restored many others. Among those he helped to restore was the famous Abbey of Monte Cassino. During the early portion of his pontificate, Gregory was on good terms with the Lombards. Their king drew up hislaws under his influence; but their dukes, with or without the consent of their king, embroiled the peninsula by seizing portions of the possessions of the Greek empire. The Greek exarch at Ravenna was quite unable to stem the advance of the Lombards, so that Gregory appealed for help to Charles Martel and the Franks. Charles could not or would not come, but greater commotion in Italy than could have been caused by his advent was aroused by the publication there of the decrees of the Greek emperor, Leo III, known as the Isaurian or the Iconoclast(727). The Italians had been previously enraged by his attempt to levy an extraordinary tax on them. Despite the attempts of Greek officials to take his life, Gregory opposed both the emperor's illegal taxes and his unwarrantable interference in the domain of ecclesiastical authority. Now was the opportunity of the Lombards. When the exarch attempted to compel the pope to obey the imperial decrees, they became his defenders. Nearly all the Byzantine districts of Italy also turned against the emperor, and but for the pope would have electedanother emperor to oppose him. When all seemed lost to the Byzantine cause in Italy, Eutychius, the last of theexarchs, contrived to wean the Lombards from the pope and to make them turn against him. The exarch was to help Liutprand, the Lombard king, to bring the almost independent Lombard Dukes of Benevento and Spoletointo complete subjection of his authority, and Liutprand was to assist him in bringing the pope to his knees. But the personal influence of Gregory over Liutprand was able to dissolve this unnatural alliance, and he repaid theexarch's treatment of him by furnishing him with troops to put down a rebellion against the imperial authority.

In connection with Gregory's struggle against the Iconoclast emperor and his Italian representatives, certaindoubtful points have been hitherto passed over. For instance, it is certain that about the year 730 Ravenna fell for a brief space into the hands of the Lombards, and that by the exertions of the pope and the Venetians, it was recovered and continued to remain for a year or two longer a portion of the Byzantine empire. It is not, however,certain whether it was Gregory II or Gregory III who rendered this important service to Leo III. Probably, however, it was done by Gregory II about the year 727; though perhaps it is not quite equally probable that the two famous condemnatory letters which Gregory II is said to have sent to Leo III are genuine. If they areauthentic, then it is certain not only that Ravenna was captured by the Lombards about 727, but that the independent temporal authority of the popes which in fact began with Gregory II was consciously felt by him. But when later Greek historians asserted that Gregory "separated Rome and Italy and the whole West from political and ecclesiastical subjection" to the Byzantine Empire, they are simply exaggerating his opposition to the emperor's illegal taxes, and Iconoclastic edicts. Despite all provocation, Gregory never for a moment swerved in his loyalty to the Iconoclast emperor; but, as in duty bound, he opposed his efforts to destroy an article ofCatholic Faith. By his letters sent in all directions he warned the people against the teachings of the emperor, and in a council at Rome (727) proclaimed the true doctrine on the question of the worship of images. To the best of his power, also, he supported St. Germainus, the Patriarch of Constantinople, in the resistance he was making to the "gospel of Leo", and threatened to depose Anastasius, who had replaced the saint in the See of Constantinople, if he did not renounce his heresy. Gregory recognized both the Patriarch of Forum Julii (Cividale) and the Patriarch of Grado as joint heirs of the original metropolitan See of Aquileia, and for a time caused these rival prelates to live in peace.

Gregory died in February, and was buried in St. Peter's (11 Feb., 731). He is honoured as a saint in the Romanand other martyrologies.

Sources

Liber Pontificalis (Paris, 1886), I, 396 sqq., ed. DUCHESNE; PAUL THE DEACON, in Mon. Germ. Hist.; Scripores Longob.; BEDE; THEOPHANES; JOHN THE DEACON OF VENICE. etc.; Letters of ST. BONIFACE in Mon. Germ. Hist.; Epp., III; HEFELE, History of the Councils (Edinburgh, 1896), V, tr,; HODGKIN, Italy and her Invaders (Oxford, 1896), VI; BURY, History of the Later Roman Empire; HIRSCH, Il ducato di Benevento, Italian tr.; MALFATTI, Imperatori e Papi; BRUNENGO, I primi Papi Ree Pultimo dei Re Longobardi; DUCHESNE, The Beginnings of the Temporal Sovereignty of the Popes, tr.; PARGOIRE, L'Église Byzantine, 527-847; MARIN, Les Moines de Constantinople; MANN, Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages (London, 1902), I, Pt. II.

Mann, Horace. "Pope St. Gregory II." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 12 May 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06787a.htm>.


Gregory II, Pope (RM)

Born in Rome, Italy; died 731; sometimes celebrated also on February 13. The 89th pope, Saint Gregory, became involved in church affairs in his youth, was educated at the Lateran, became a subdeacon under Pope Saint Sergius, served as treasurer and librarian of the Church under four popes, and became widely known for his learning and wisdom. In 710, now a deacon, he distinguished himself in his replies to Emperor Justinian when he accompanied Pope Constantine to Constantinople to oppose the Council of Trullo canon that had declared the patriarchate of Constantinople independent of Rome and helped to secure Justinian's acknowledgment of papal supremacy.


On May 19, 715, Gregory was elected pope to succeed Constantine, put into effect a program to restore clerical discipline, fought heresies, began to rebuild the walls around Rome as a defense against the Saracens, and helped restore and rebuild churches (including Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls), hospitals, and monasteries, including Monte Cassino under Petronax, which had been destroyed by Lombards about 150 years previously. He sent missionaries into Germany, among them Saint Corbinian and Saint Boniface in 719, whom he consecrated bishop. He also helped Saint Nothelm in his researches in the papal archives to provide material for Saint Bede's Ecclesiastical history. Gregory also received the Wessex king Ina, who became a monk in Rome in 726.
An old tradition makes Gregory a Benedictine monk, and his office figured for centuries in several Benedictine Propria.

The outstanding concern of his pontificate was his difficulties with Emperor Leo III the Isaurian. Gregory opposed Leo's illegal taxation on the Italians, and counseled against the planned revolt of Italy against Byzantium and the election of an emperor in opposition to Leo. He also demanded that Leo stop interfering with church matters, vigorously opposed iconoclasm supported by the emperor, and severely rebuked him at a synod in Rome in 727. Gregory also supported Germanus, patriarch of Constantinople, against Leo. Gregory's relations with the Lombards who were intent upon conquering Italy were friendly mainly due to his influence with their leader, Liutprand (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer).
SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0211.shtml

St. Gregory II. Pope and Confessor

HE was born in Rome, to an affluent fortune, and being educated in the palace of the popes, acquired great skill in the holy scriptures and in ecclesiastical affairs, and attained to an eminent degree of sanctity. Pope Sergius I. to whom he was very dear, ordained him subdeacon. Under the succeeding popes, John the sixth and seventh, Sisinnius, and Constantine, he was treasurer of the church, and afterwards library keeper, and was charged with several important commissions. The fifth general council had been held upon the affair of the three chapters, in 553, in the reign of Justinian, and the sixth against the Monothelites, in those of Constantine Pogonatus and Pope Agatho, in 660. With a view of adding a supplement of new canons to those of the aforesaid two councils, the bishops of the Greek church, to the number of two hundred and eleven, held the council called Quini-sext, in a hall of the imperial palace at Constantinople, named Trullus, in 692, which laid a foundation of certain differences in discipline between the Eastern and Western churches; for in the thirteenth canon it was enacted, that a man who was before married should be allowed to receive the holy orders of subdeacon, deacon, or priest, without being obliged to leave his wife, though this was forbidden to bishops. (can. 12.) It was also forbidden (can. 55.) to fast on Saturdays, even in Lent. Pope Sergius I. refused to confirm this council; and, in 695, the emperor Justinian II. surnamed Rhinotmetus, who had succeeded his father, Constantine Pogonatus, in 685, was dethroned for his cruelty, and his nose being slit, (from which circumstances he received his surname,) banished into Chersonesus. First Leontius, then Apsimarus Tiberius ascended the throne; but Justinian recovered it in 705, and invited Pope Constantine into the East, hoping to prevail upon him to confirm the council in Trullo. The pope was received with great honour, and had with him our saint, who, in his name, answered the questions put by the Greeks concerning the said council. After their return to Rome, upon the death of Constantine, Gregory was chosen pope, and ordained on the 19th of May, 715. The emperor Justinian being detested both by the army and people, Bardanes, who took the name of Philippicus, an Armenian, one of his generals, revolted, took Constantinople, put him and his son Tiberius, only seven years old, to death, and usurped the sovereignty in December, 711. In Justinian II. was extinguished the family of Heraclius. Philippicus abetted warmly the heresy of the Monothelites, and caused the sixth council to be prescribed in a pretended synod at Constantinople. His reign was very short; for Artemius, his secretary, who took the name of Anastasius II., deposed him, and stepped into the throne on the 4th of June, 713. By him the Monothelites were expelled; but, after a reign of two years and seven months, seeing one Theodosius chosen emperor by the army which had revolted in January, 716, he withdrew and took the monastic habit at Thessalonica. The Eastern army having proclaimed Leo III., surnamed the Isaurian, emperor on the 25th of March, 717, Theodosius and his son embraced an ecclesiastical state, and lived in peace among the clergy.

Pope Gregory signalized the beginning of his popedom by deposing John VI. the Monothelite, false patriarch of Constantinople, who had been nominated by Philippicus, and he promoted the election of St. Germanus, who was translated to that dignity from Cyzicus, in 715. With unwearied watchfulness and zeal he laid himself out in extirpating heresies on all sides, and in settling a reformation of manners. Besides an hospital for old men, he rebuilt the great monastery near the church of St. Paul at Rome, and, after the death of his mother, in 718, changed her house into the monastery of St. Agatha. The same year he re-established the abbey of Mount Cassino, sending thither, from Rome, the holy abbot St. Petronax to take upon him the government, one hundred and forty years after it had been laid in ruins by the Lombards. This holy abbot lived to see monastic discipline settled here in so flourishing a manner, that in the same century Carloman, duke or prince of the French, Rachis, king of the Lombards, St. Willebald, St. Sturmius, first abbot of Fulda, and other eminent persons, fled to this sanctuary. 1 Our holy pope commissioned zealous missionaries to preach the faith in Germany, and consecrated St. Corbinian bishop of Frisingen, and St. Boniface bishop of Mentz. Leo the Isaurian protected the catholic church during the first ten years of his reign, and St. Gregory II. laid up among the archives of his church several letters which he had received from him, from the year 717 to 726, which proved afterwards authentic monuments of his perfidy. For being infatuated by certain Jews, who had gained an ascendant over him by certain pretended astrological predictions, in 726 he commanded holy images to be abolished, and enforced the execution of his edicts of a cruel persecution. St. Germanus, and other orthodox prelates in the East, endeavoured to reclaim him, refused to obey his edicts, and addressed themselves to Pope Gregory. Our saint employed long the arms of tears and entreaties; yet strenuously maintained the people of Italy in their allegiance to their prince, as Anastasius assures us. A rebellion was raised in Sicily, but soon quelled by the death of Artemius, who had assumed the purple. The pope vigorously opposed the mutineers, both here and in other parts of the West. When he was informed that the army at Ravenna and Venice, making zeal a pretence for rebellion, had created a new emperor, he effectually opposed their attempt, and prevented the effect. Several disturbances which were raised in Rome were pacified by his care. Nevertheless he by letters encouraged the pastors of the church to resist the heresy which the emperor endeavoured to establish by bloodshed and violence. The tyrant sent orders to several of his officers, six or seven times, to murder the pope: but he was so faithfully guarded by the Romans and Lombards, that he escaped all their snares. St. Gregory II. held the pontificate fifteen years, eight months, and twenty-three days, and died in 731, on the 10th of February; but the Roman Martyrology consecrates to his memory the 13th, which was probably the day on which his corpse was deposited in the Vatican church.

Note 1. Bulteau, Hist. Mon. d’Occid. t. 2. l. 4. c. 2. p. 8. [back]

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


SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/2/134.html