dimanche 29 mars 2015

Saint BERTHOLD du MONT CARMEL, ermite, prieur et fondateur

Saint Berthold

Il était originaire du Limousin, participa à la Croisade et se fit ermite au Mont Carmel, en Terre Sainte. Le patriarche d'Antioche, légat du Saint Siège, le nomma prieur général de cette communauté. Grande fut sa charité pour accueillir les pèlerins et sa piété pour se rapprocher chaque jour de Dieu. Il mourut en 1188.

Saint Berthold

prieur au Mont Carmel en Palestine ( 1188)

Il était originaire du Limousin et s'en fut à la Croisade, se promettant d'entrer en religion si les armées chrétiennes avaient la victoire. Il accomplit donc sa promesse et se fit ermite au Mont-Carmel en Terre Sainte. Le patriarche d'Antioche, légat du Saint Siège, le nomma prieur général de cette communauté. Grande fut sa charité pour accueillir les pèlerins et sa piété pour se rapprocher chaque jour de Dieu.

Au Mont Carmel en Palestine, vers 1188, le bienheureux Berthold. Soldat, il fut admis parmi les frères qui menaient la vie religieuse sur ce mont et, élu peu après par eux comme prieur, il confia la communauté à la Mère de Dieu.

Martyrologe romain


Bishop, Apostle of the Livonians, killed 24 July, 1198, in a crusade against the pagan Livonians who threatened destruction to all Christians that lived in their territory. He was previously Abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Lockum in Hanover. At the death of Meinhard, the first Bishop of Livonia (c. 1196), Archbishop Hartwig of Bremen, to whose province belonged the newly converted countries along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, appointed Abbot Berthold successor. It seems very probable that, as Damberger asserts in his "Synchronistische Geschichte der Kirche und der Welt im Mittelalter", when Meinhard came to Bremen in 1186 to obtain help in his apostolic labours in Livonia, Berthold joined the band of missionaries who accompanied him thither. On this assumption, Berthold had been working ten years as a missionary among the Livonians when he became their second bishop and was, therefore, well acquainted with his field of labour.

The Livonian pagans were fanatically opposed to Christianity. Berthold's predecessor, assisted by merchants from Bremen and Lübeck and a few converted natives, had built fortifications along the River Düna, where Christians held their religious services and could protect themselves against the fury of the pagans. Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Berthold tried to gain their confidence and good will by kindness. At first they appeared to become less hostile, but soon their old hatred revived. When Berthold attempted to bless the Christian cemetery at Holm, their pagan fanaticism broke loose in all its fury and they decided either to burn the bishop together with his church at Holm or to drown him in the Düna. The Christians fled to their strongholds at Uxküll and Holm, while the bishop escaped in a ship to Lübeck.

Pope Celestine III, shortly before his death, was preparing to send a fleet of crusaders to protect the Christians of the Baltic Provinces, and his successor, Innocent III, continued the work. Berthold gained the financial assistance of Archbishop Hartwig and many merchants of Bremen and Lübeck. In a short time a large fleet was ready for departure well equipped and loaded with crusaders and many German peasants who were to settle permanently in Livonia. It put to sea at Lbeck and crossed the Baltic, entering the River Dna from what is now called the Gulf of Riga. Near the mouth of the Dna the German peasants landed with the purpose of making their homes in the vicinity, and laid the foundations of the city Riga, at present one of the most important commercial seaports in Russia. Berthold, accompanied by the crusaders, sailed up the river as far as Holm, where the pagan Livonians had gathered with the intention of attacking the fleet. Having vainly attempted to come to a peaceful agreement with them, Berthold and his companions sailed some distance down the river, with the Livonians in eager pursuit. Finally, the pagans agreed to a suspension of hostilities to gain time for collecting larger forces. At the first opportunity, however, they fell upon the Christians who ventured outside their fortifications, and hostilities were resumed. The crusaders were victorious, but Berthold's horse became intractable and galloped into the midst of the fleeing Livonians. A pagan by the name of Ymant thrust his lance into Berthold's back, inflicting a wound that caused speedy death. The bishop's body was buried by the crusaders at Uxkll whence it was transferred to Riga by Bishop Albert of Apeldern whom Archbishop Hartwig of Bremen had appointed Berthold's successor. Soon after the death of Berthold many of the vanquished pagans came to the crusaders, expressing their regret at the unhappy occurrence and asked to be baptized. The final conversion of Livonia was effected by Bishop Albert, who was assisted in his apostolic labours by the newly founded Order of the Brothers of the Sword which in 1237 was affiliated with the Teutonic Order.


GRUBBER, Origines Livoniæ sacræ et civiles (Frankfort and Leipzig, 1740); DAMBERGER, Synchronistische Geschichte der Kirche und der Welt im Mittelalter (Ratisbon, 1856), IX, 328-336, 437-438; SEITERS, in Kirchenlex., s.v.

Ott, Michael. "Berthold." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 28 Mar. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02519c.htm>.

Berthold of Mount Carmel, OC Founder (AC)

Born at Limoges, France; died c. 1195. Saint Berthold studied and was ordained in Paris. He went on the Crusades with Aymeric (Albert), his brother, and was in Antioch during its siege by the Saracens. During the siege Berthold had a vision of Christ denouncing the evil ways of the Christian soldiers. Thereafter, he labored to reform his fellows. He organized them and became superior of a group of hermits on Mount Carmel. Eventually Aymeric became the Latin patriarch of Antioch and appointed his brother superior general of the monks, gave them their rule, and, thus, is considered by some to be the founder of the Carmelites. He ruled there for 45 years.

The Carmelite Order may actually have survived because of a forgery. This was necessary because no new orders were permitted. When the Bollandists in the 17th century pointed to Saint Berthold as the founder of the order in 1155, a monk 'discovered' a document 'proving' that the Carmelites were founded by the prophet Elijah (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Sheppard).

St. Berthold

Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite Order. He was born in Limoges, France, and proved a brilliant student at the University of Paris. Ordained a priest, Berthold joined his brother, Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch, in Turkey, on the Crusades. On Mount Carmel he found a group of hermits, joined them, and established a rule. Aymeric appointed Berthold the first Carmelite superior general. Berthold tried to reform the Christian soldiers in the region, having had a vision of Christ, and headed the Carmelites for forty-five years.

SOURCE : http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1775

Feast: March 29

Berthold seems to have had a connection with the beginnings of the Carmelite Order. He was a relative of Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch who was installed in Antioch during the crusades. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine, and Berthold gathered them together, founded a community of priests who settled on Mount Carmel, and became their first superior.

There is a legend that he was born at Limoges in France, studied in Paris, and was ordained a priest there. According to the legend, he accompanied Aymeric on the crusades and found himself in Antioch when it was being besieged by the Saracens. Through his urgings, the Christians in Antioch turned to prayer and penance, and the city was delivered.

What is known for certain is that St. Berthold directed the building of a monastery and church on Mount Carmel and dedicated the church in honor of the prophet Elias, who had defeated the priests of Baal there and seen the vision of the cloud out over the sea. This is confirmed in a letter of Peter Emilianus to King Edward I of England in 1282.

Berthold lived out his days on Mount Carmel, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death about 1195. His example and way of life stamped the beginnings of the Carmelite Order, leading to the drawing up of the order's rule by St. Albert, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, about 1210. That rule was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226 and it is this primitive rule that is considered the foundation of the Order of Mount Carmel.

But it seems to have been Berthold who first organized the monastic life of the hermits on Mount Carmel and governed them until his death. St. Brocard, who apparently was his successor, petitioned Albert to compose a rule for them, undoubtedly codifying and completing the work begun by Berthold.

Thought for the Day: St. Berthold became aware of something that had to be done, and he put his hand firmly to the task before him, unknowingly laying the foundation of a great religious order. We have no way of knowing what fruit will grow from the seed we plant. What is important is that we plant well.

From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . A fierce storm developed that threatened to swamp them, and they were in real danger. They rushed over and woke him up. "Master, master, we are sinking!" they screamed. So he spoke to the storm: "Quiet down," he said, and the wind and waves subsided and all was calm! Then he asked them, "Where is your faith?"—Luke 8:23-25

Taken from "The One Year Book of Saints" by Rev. Clifford Stevens published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, IN 46750.

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SOURCE :https://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/BERTHOLD.HTM

Voir aussi :  http://carmelnet.org/biographies/Berthold.pdf