lundi 2 mars 2015

Bienheureux CHARLES le Bon, martyr


Portrait de Charles le Bon
Bienheureux Charles le Bon, martyr

Charles Ier de Flandre, dit Charles le Bon, né Charles de Danemark vers 1083, est le fils du roi du Danemark Knut IV et d'Adèle de Flandre. Son père ayant été assassiné en 1086, il est emmené par sa mère en Flandre où il grandit à la cour de son grand-père Robert Ier et de son oncle Robert II. Il part à la croisade en 1096 puis devient un proche conseiller du nouveau comte Baudouin VII. En 1118, il épouse l'héritière du comte d'Amiens, Marguerite de Clermont. En 1119, il devient comte de Flandre, titre qu’il devra défendre vaillamment face à de nombreux opposants. Charles de Danemark gagne rapidement une réputation de grande vertu et de générosité envers les pauvres, ce qui lui vaut son surnom de “bon”. Sa bonté s’exerçait sans affectation ; il est bon sans être faible, et naturellement fort pieux. Sa réputation est telle que le siège impérial et le trône de Jérusalem lui sont tour à tour proposés. Mais il décline ces deux offres, arguant qu’il préférait se consacrer au bonheur de ses sujets flamands. L’hiver 1126-1127 est particulièrement terrible en Flandre. Charles empêche que le grain soit vendu à des prix excessifs, ordonne que la moitié des semis à planter soient des semis de pois et de fèves, qui arrivent à maturité plus rapidement que les blés ; il visite les greniers des riches et organise la distribution de leurs grains en les vendant à coût modéré, faisant reverser le bénéfice à leurs propriétaires légitimes, distribue pain et argent, et interdit la fabrication de la bière. Mais le 2 mars 1127, il est brutalement assassiné dans l’église St-Donatien de Bruges pendant la messe du mercredi des Cendres par des marchands à la solde de la branche cadette de Flandre. Très populaire, Charles a été très vite considéré comme un martyr et un saint.



Bienheureux Charles le Bon, comte de Flandre.

Le Bienheureux Charles le Bon, naquit en 1081. Il participa à la première Croisade avec son oncle Robert qui devint roi de Jérusalem. A la mort de son cousin Baudouin, Charles hérita du comté de Flandre. Il devint ensuite comte d'Artois et de Picardie. 


Homme bon et pieux, il imposa la “Trêve de Dieu” et réprima le marché noir en temps de famine. Par ses actions en faveur des pauvres, il se fit des amis chez les ceux-ci et des ennemis parmi les puissants. 

C'est ainsi qu'il succomba, victime de son amour pour la justice. Il fut assassiné dans la cathédrale Saint Donat de Bruges, alors qu'il priait avant d'assister à la messe matinale, le mercredi des Cendres 2 mars 1127. 

Le roi de France Louis VI le Gros fonda, à la mémoire de ce cousin qu’il aimait, le monastère cistercien de Chaalis, aux portes de Paris. 

Le culte du Bienheureux Charles le Bon fut approuvé par le Pape Léon XIII en 1882. A cette occasion, il fut nommé patron secondaire de la Belgique.




Bienheureux Charles le Bon

Comte de Flandre, martyr ( 1127)

ou Charles Ier de Flandre.

Fils du roi Knut IV (Saint Canut du Danemark), il participa à la première croisade. A son retour, il devint comte des Flandres, de Picardie et d'Artois. Sa bonté lui fit des amis chez les pauvres et sa justice lui attira la haine des grands de ce monde qui l'assassinèrent pendant la messe dans l'église Saint-Donatien de Bruges. Cette mort d'un homme pénétré de l'amour de Dieu fut considérée comme un martyre par la dévotion populaire. Son culte fut confirmé en 1883. 


À Bruges en Flandre, l’an 1127, le bienheureux Charles le Bon, martyr. Prince du Danemark et ensuite comte de Flandre, il se montra gardien de la justice et défenseur des pauvres, jusqu’au jour où il fut tué par des soldats conjurés, qui refusaient la paix qu’il voulait leur imposer.


Martyrologe romain

Celui qui veut ici-bas porter un amour au cœur doit s’attendre à traverser peines et joies. Il ne suffit pas de me donner une partie du jour.

Bienheureux Henri Suso - Livre de la Sagesse éternelle

Charles est un nom d'origine germanique qui signifie "fort" (karl). 


On fête le 4 novembre saint Charles Borromée et le 28 septembre, saint Charles de Blois. En Belgique et dans le diocèse de Lille, on fête le bienheureux Charles surnommé le Bon. C'était au XIIe siècle. Il était le quatrième fils d'un roi vénéré comme saint : Canut, roi du Danemark, fêté le 19 janvier. Devenu comte de Flandre, la principauté de son grand-père, Charles prend part à la première Croisade en Terre Sainte. Dans ses territoires, il fut un ardent promoteur de la Trêve de Dieu : la cessation des hostilités pendant l'Avent, le Carême et le temps de Pâques. Cette Trêve avait été initiée au siècle précédent par saint Odilon, Abbé de Cluny, fêté le 4 janvier.

Le comte Charles défendait avec intrépidité les pauvres contre ceux qui les exploitaient, aussi bien les clercs que les laïcs. Ce courage lui valut son principal titre de noblesse qui lui est resté : le Bon. Il luttait aussi avec vigueur contre ceux qui spéculaient sur le commerce du blé. Ce sera la cause de sa mort. Le 2 mars 1127 - c'était le mercredi des Cendres - il assistait, comme chaque jour, à la Messe - il est blessé à mort par ses adversaires, dans l'église st. Donatien de Bruges. Sa politique fut toujours de rappeler que personne, et d'abord les seigneurs et le clergé, n'est au-dessus des lois de l'Etat.

Rédacteur : Frère Bernard Pineau, OP



Statue de Charles le Bon 

Bl. Charles the Good

In 1086, St. Canute, King of Denmark and father of Blessed Charles the Good, was slain in St. Alban's Church, Odence. Charles who was only a few years old was taken by his mother to the court of Robert, Count of Flanders, his maternal grandfather. When he grew up, he became a knight and accompanied Robert in a crusade to the Holy Land where he distinguished himself; on their return, Charles also fought against the English with his uncle. On Robert's death, his son Baldwin succeeded him and designated Charles as the heir. At the same time, he arranged for Charles' marriage to the daughter of the Count of Clermont. During Baldwin's rule, Charles was closely associated with him, and the people came to have a high regard for his wise and beneficent ways as well as his personal holiness. At Baldwin's death, in 1119, the people made his cousin their ruler.  Charles ruled his people with wisdom, diligence, and compassion; he made sure that times of truce were respected and fought against black marketeers who horded food and were waiting to sell it at astronomical prices to the people. This encouraged their undying wrath and one day in 1127 as Charles was praying in the Church of St. Donatian they set upon him and killed him.Blessed Charles the Good  feast day is March 2nd.

SOURCE : http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=483

March 2

St. Charles the Good, Earl of Flanders, Martyr

HE was son of St. Canutus king of Denmark, and of Alice of Flanders, who, after the death of his father, carried him, then an infant, into Flanders, in 1086. His cousin-german Baldwin the Seventh, earl of Flanders, dying without issue in 1119, left him his heir by will, on account of his extraordinary valour and merit. The young earl was a perfect model of all virtues, especially devotion, charity, and humility. Among his friends and courtiers, he loved those best who admonished him of his faults the most freely. He frequently exhausted his treasury on the poor, and often gave the clothes off his back to be sold for their relief. He served them with his own hands, and distributed clothes and bread to them in all places where he came. It was observed that in Ipres he gave away, in one day, no less than seven thousand eight hundred loaves. He took care for their sake to keep the price of corn and provisions always low, and he made wholesome laws to protect them from the oppressions of the great. This exasperated Bertulf, who had tyrannically usurped the provostship of St. Donatian’s in Bruges, to which dignity was annexed the chancellorship of Flanders, and his wicked relations the great oppressors of their country. In this horrible conspiracy they were joined by Erembald, castellan or chief magistrate of the territory of Bruges, with his five sons, provoked against their sovereign because he had repressed their unjust violences against the noble family De Straten. The holy earl went every morning barefoot to perform his devotions early before the altar of the Blessed Virgin in St. Donatian’s church. Going thither one day, he was informed of a conspiracy; but answered: “We are always surrounded by dangers, but we belong to God. If it be his will, can we die in a better cause than that of justice and truth?” Whilst he was reciting the penitential psalms before the altar, the conspirators rushing in, his head was cloven by Fromold Borchard, nephew to Bertulf, in 1124. He was buried in St. Christopher’s church at Bruges not in that of St. Donatian, as Pantoppidan proves. Borchard was broken alive on the wheel, and Bertulf was hung on a rack at Ipres, and exposed on it to be torn by furious dogs, and at length was stoned to death by beggars whilst he remained on that engine. St. Charles’s shrine was placed by an order of Charles Philip Rodoan, fourth bishop of Bruges, in 1606, in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin, and ever since the year 1610 an high mass in honour of the Trinity is sung on his festival. See the life of this good earl by Walter, archdeacon of Terouenne, and more fully by Gualbert, syndic of Bruges, and by Ælnoth, a monk of Canterbury and Danish missionary at that time. See also Molanus and Miræus in their martyrologies; Henschenius, p. 158. Robertus de Monte in Append. ad Chronicon Sigeberti ad an. 1127. Jac. Maierus, Annal. Flandriæ, l. 4, p. 45, 46. Likewise Ericus Pantoppidanus in his Gesta Danorum extra Daniam. Hafniæ, 1740, t. 2. sec. 1. c. 5. sec. 32. p. 398.

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


SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/3/025.html

Blessed Charles the Good

Also known as
  • Charles of Flanders
Profile

Born a prince, the son of King Saint Canute of Denmark and Adela of Flanders. After his father‘s murder, he was raised in the court of his maternal grandfather, Robert de Frison, Count of Flanders (part of modern Belgium. Fought in the Second Crusade. Succeeded Robert II as count of Flanders in 1119. Married into the family of the Duke of Clermont (in modern France. His rule was a continuous defense of the poor against profiteers of his time, both clerical and lay. Called the Good by popular acclamation. Reformed laws to make them more fair, supported the poor, fed the hungry, walked barefoot to Mass each day. Martyred in the church of Saint Donatian of Rheims at Bruges by Borchard, part of a conspiracy of the rich whom he had offended.

Born

SOURCE : http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-charles-the-good/

March 2: Blessed Charles the Good 

“In Bruges, in Flanders, memory of Blessed Charles the Good, Martyr, that the Prince of Denmark and later count of Flanders, Justice guarding and defending the poor, until he was killed by soldiers that he had tried to pacify.” (from the Roman Martryology)

Today, March 2, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Charles the Good (1083-1127), Count and Ruler of Flanders (modern day Belgium), and tireless protector of the poor and needy. Named “the Good” by popular acclaim, Charles ruled his peoples with equity, loyalty, and love, espousing the virtues of Christianity and leading many to the Lord.

Charles was born the son of Saint Canute, King of Denmark. When his father was murdered when Charles was just 5 years old, his mother took him to the court of her father, the Count of Flanders in Bruges. Charles grew up in the court, learning the life of royalty, but also maintaining daily practice, prayer, and religious observance. When he reached the age of service, Charles became a night and accompanied his uncle on the Second Crusade. Upon his return, he was placed as leader of the county of Flanders.

Count Charles led his people with a profound emphasis on justice, based upon the Holy Scriptures and teachings of Christ. Each night after dinner, he met with learned theologians who explained the Scriptures to him. He then used this knowledge to enact fair and just laws throughout the county. He forbade blasphemy, and looked with special care to those who were easily taken advantage of or exploited, including widows, the poor, and orphans. Those who were convicted of exploiting this fragile groups, Charles punished swiftly, but fairly. He led by example, expecting nothing more from his subjects than he, himself, was prepared to do.

Charles became so well loved and respected that he was pressured to assume the imperial throne when it was vacated. He, for his part, declined, preferring to spend his time caring for the people of Flanders. Charles proclaimed peace, citing “the Truce of God,” and putting to an end the frequent fighting and violence of the country. He lived without the typical pomp and luxury of royalty of the times, instead streamlining and downsizing his government to better provide for the poor. He decreased taxes on the poor and increased wages. When nobles, whose lifestyles were hurt by his decrees complained, he kindly answered them saying: "It is because I am so aware of the needs of the poor and the pride of the rich." Everyday, the poor and hungry in his kingdom were fed at his castles, especially when great famine fell across the counties in 1125.

As a sign of his daily penance, Charles went barefoot and wore the clothing of peasants. He attended Mass each day, relying on the priests and clergy he encountered to correct his laws if they violated the teachings of the Scriptures. So convinced of the power of forgiveness, Charles established that all convicted criminals sentenced to death were to confess and receive communion on the day preceding the execution of the sentence.

Eventually, Charles the Good angered enough of his noblemen that they hatched a plot to rid themselves of the do-gooder. They found him at the Church of Saint Donatian, as was his habit, and beheaded him while he knelt in prayer before the alter of Our Lady.

The life of Blessed Charles the Good reminds us of each of our roles in promoting truth, equality, and social justice. Blessed Charles forewent the comforts and luxuries afforded to royalty to better serve his fellow man—whom he considered equal to himself. Today, we pray for justice and equity amongst the peoples of the world, and look to the Church as a leader in the promotion of human love, acceptance, and peace.

Father, you have given all peoples one common origin.
It is your will that they be gathered together 
as one family in yourself.
Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love
and with the desire to ensure justice for all.
By sharing the good things you give us,
may we secure an equality for all 
our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
May there be an end to division, strife and war.
May there be a dawning of a truly human society
built on love and peace.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord.
Amen. 




Warfare in Flanders, according to Galbert of Bruges’ The Murder of Charles the Good

 : http://deremilitari.org/2014/02/warfare-in-flanders-according-to-galbert-of-bruges-the-murder-of-charles-the-good/