mercredi 22 avril 2015

Saint AGAPIT Ier (AGAPET), Pape et confesseur

Saint Agapit Ier

Pape (57 ème) de 535 à 536 ( 536)

ou Agapet.

Pape, qui agit avec force pour la libre élection de l’évêque de Rome par le clergé de la Ville et pour qu’on observe partout des statuts de l’Église. Puis envoyé en mission à Constantinople, auprès de l’empereur, par Théodoric roi des Goths, il confirma la foi orthodoxe, ordonna Ménas évêque de cette ville, et là même reposa dans la paix. 


Un internaute nous signale:

"pape de 535 à avril 536, d'origine romaine, mort à Constantinople. Adversaire de l'eutychianisme, hérésie propagée par Eutychès, proche du nestorianisme. Son corps fut ramené à Rome."


Martyrologe romain



Saint Agapit (ou Agapet) Ier est un pape romain de naissance aristocratique qui régna de 535 à 536.

Cultivé, il avait une bibliothèque patristique dans sa maison sur le mont Caelius. Il dressa avec Cassiodore (490-580), homme d'État et écrivain, le plan d'une université chrétienne à Rome suivant le modèle des académies d'Alexandrie et de Nisibie en Mésopotamie.
Il se montra sévère avec les prêtres d'Afrique du Nord qui s'étaient convertis à l'arianisme au passage des Vandales et qui voulaient rentrer dans le bercail orthodoxe. Il refusa aussi aux prêtres ariens convertis à l'orthodoxie d'exercer un ministère au sein de l'Église catholique.

Agapet mourut à Constantinople, où il avait été envoyé par Théodat, dernier roi ostrogoth d'Italie (534-536) pour négocier la paix avec l'empereur Justinien 1er (527-565). Celui-ci s'apprêtait en effet à envahir l'Italie, royaume germanique depuis 476. Le meurtre d'Amalasonte, fille du roi Théodoric, par Théodat, lui fournit le prétexte. Le corps d'Agapet fut ramené à Rome et inhumé à Saint Pierre.

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Saint Agapit Ier

Pape de 535 à 536

Fête le 22 avril

Rome – † Constantinople [auj. Istanbul, Turquie] 22 avril 536

Autres mentions : 20 septembre – 28 avril

Autres graphies : Agapit, Agapet ou Agapitus I

Pape de 535 à 536, saint Agapit ou Agapet succéda au pape Jean II, en 535. Il mourut quelques mois plus tard, au cours d’une visite à Constantinople. Son corps fut ramené à Rome.

Pape et apologiste, Agapit est le fils d’un prêtre nommé Gordianus tué pendant le règne du pape Symmachus. Il est élu pape le 13 mai 535, et est déjà d’un âge avancé quand il commence à régler les désaccords et les affaires de l’Église. Pour apaiser les esprits, il réhabilite Dioscore qu’avait excommunié le pape Boniface II. Il s’attache alors à restaurer l’autorité pontificale ébranlée par les différents schismes. Belisarius, qui a conquis la Sicile, apparaît prêt à envahir l’Italie ; Théodat, fils d’Athalaric, petit-fils de Théodoric, l’envoye à Constantinople pour obtenir que l’empereur Justinien épargne l’Italie. Agapitus arrive là-bas en février 536, sachant qu’il échouerait dans sa mission, mais décide de faire appel à Constantinople auprès de l’empereur Justinien pour qu’il arrête son avance militaire. Pendant que dans Constantinople le pape réprime une révolte religieuse menée par un évêque nommé Anthemius et l’impératrice Theodora, l’empereur Justinien, défendant au début Anthemius, écrase la révolte et soumet une profession de foi écrite à Agapitus. Celui-ci sanctionne le patriarche monophysite Anthime en dépit du soutien que ce dernier reçoit de l’impératrice. Puis, il consacre Ménas, le nouveau patriarche de Constantinople. Après cela, Agapitus tombe bientôt malade et meurt à Constantinople le 22 avril 536. Ses restes sont ramenés à Rome le 20 septembre (date de sa deuxième commémoration dans le Martyrologe Romain d’avant 1970) et déposés à Saint-Pierre. Il est vénéré par les Églises d’Orient et d’Occident.


    Saint Agapet Ier fut élu pape vers le commencement de juin 535, et succéda à Jean II. Il était Romain de naissance et archidiacre de l'Eglise de Rome. L'Italie était alors soumise à la domination des Goths, mais les papes n'en étaient pas moins sous la protection des empereurs d'Orient, qui conservaient des prétentions sur des provinces autrefois dépendantes de l'empire romain. Les pontifes de Rome, souvent froissés entre ces deux puissances, étaient tour à tour leurs victimes ou leurs médiateurs : Théodat, roi des Goths, craignait que l'empereur Justinien ne songeât à reconquérir l'Italie, ce qui arriva effectivement quelques années après, sous le commandement de Bélisaire. Pour détourner en ce moment l'orage, Théodat envoya Agapet Ier en ambassade à Constantinople. Le pape était alors si pauvre, qu'il fut obligé d'engager les vases sacrés de l'église pour fournir aux frais de son voyage. Ayant échoué dans sa mission politique, il tourna ses soins vers les affaires de l'Eglise, et parvint, malgré les intrigues de l'impératrice Théodora, à faire déposer le patriarche Anthyme, sectateur d'Entychès, et à lui donner pour successeur Mennas, qu'il sacra lui-même.

      Agapet mourut à Constantinople le 17 avril 536. Son corps fut rapporté à Rome, et inhumé dans la basilique de St-Pierre. On a quelques lettres de lui. Sa mémoire est honorée par l'Eglise latine le 20 septembre, et par les Grecs, le 17 avril. Il eut pour successeur saint Silvère.  

(Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne - Tome 1 - Page 212)


Agapitus I, Pope (RM)


Died in Constantinople on April 22, 536. The Roman Agapitus, son of a murdered priest named Gordian, was archdeacon of the Roman clergy and an old man when elected pope on May 13, 535. As pope he showed great vigor in opposing the Monophysites. He died while on a mission for the Ostrogoth King Theodahad to convince Justinian to forego a threatened invasion of Italy. Agapitus was unsuccessful, but while there he convinced Justinian to remove Patriarch Anthimus, a Monophysite, and replace him with Mennas, whom Agapitus consecrated. His body was taken back to Rome on September 20, on which date a second feast is celebrated in the Roman Martyrology. Like many other Italian saints on the period, he owes his cultus to the devotion of Saint Gregory the Great (Benedictines, Delaney).


Pope St. Agapetus I
(Also AGAPITUS.)

Reigned 535-536. Date of birth uncertain; died 22 April, 536. He was the son of Gordianus, a Roman priest who had been slain during the riots in the days of Pope Symmachus. His first official act was to burn in the presence of the assembled clergy the anathema which Boniface II had pronounced against the latter's rival Dioscurus and had ordered to be preserved in the Roman archives. He confirmed the decrees of the council held at Carthage, after the liberation of Africa from the Vandal yoke, according to which converts from Arianism were declared ineligible to Holy Orders and those already ordained were merely admitted to lay communion. He accepted an appeal from Contumeliosus, Bishop of Riez, whom a council at Marseilles had condemned for immorality, and he ordered St. Caesarius of Arles to grant the accused a new trial before papal delegates. Meanwhile Belisarius, after the very easy conquest of Sicily, was preparing for an invasion of Italy. The Gothic king, Theodehad, as a last resort, begged the aged pontiff to proceed to Constantinople and bring his personal influence to bear on the Emperor Justinian. To defray the costs of the embassy Agapetus was compelled to pledge the sacred vessels of the Church of Rome. He set out in midwinter with five bishops and an imposing retinue. In February, 536, he appeared in the capital of the East and was received with all the honours befitting the head of the Catholic Church. As he no doubt had foreseen, the ostensible object of his visit was doomed to failure. Justinian could not be swerved from his resolve to re-establish the rights of the Empire in Italy. But from the ecclesiastical standpoint, the visit of the Pope in Constantinople issued in a triumph scarcely less memorable than the campaigns of Belisarius. The then occupant of the Byzantine See was a certain Anthimus, who without the authority of the canons had left his episcopal see of Trebizond to join the crypto-Monophysites who, in conjunction with the Empress Theodora were then intriguing to undermine the authority of the Council of Chalcedon. Against the protests of the orthodox, the Empress finally seated Anthimus in the patriarchal chair. No sooner had the Pope arrived than the most prominent of the clergy entered charges against the new patriarch as an intruder and a heretic. Agapetus ordered him to make a written profession of faith and to return to his forsaken see; upon his refusal, he declined to have any relations with him. This vexed the Emperor, who had been deceived by his wife as to the orthodoxy of her favorite, and he went so far as to threaten the Pope with banishment. Agapetus replied with spirit: "With eager longing have I come to gaze upon the Most Christian Emperor Justinian. In his place I find a Diocletian, whose threats, however, terrify me not." This intrepid language made Justinian pause; and being finally convinced that Anthimus was unsound in faith, he made no objection to the Pope's exercising the plenitude of his powers in deposing and suspending the intruder and, for the first time in the history of the Church, personally consecrating his legally elected successor, Mennas. This memorable exercise of the papal prerogative was not soon forgotten by the Orientals, who, together with the Latins, venerate him as a saint. In order to clear himself of every suspicion of abetting heresy, Justinian delivered to the Pope a written confession of faith, which the latter accepted with the judicious proviso that "although he could not admit in a layman the right of teaching religion, yet he observed with pleasure that the zeal of the Emperor was in perfect accord with the decisions of the Fathers". Shortly afterwards Agapetus fell ill and died, after a glorious reign of ten months. His remains were brought in a leaden coffin to Rome and deposited in St. Peter's. His memory is kept on 20 September, the day of his deposition. The Greeks commemorate him on 22 April, the day of his death.

Sources
Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne), I, 287-289; Cleus in Acta SS., Sept., VI, 163-179; Artaud de Montor, Lives of the Popes (New York, 1867), I, 123, 124.

Loughlin, James. "Pope St. Agapetus I." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 22 Apr. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01202c.htm>.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01202c.htm

St. Agapetus, Pope and Confessor

THIS HOLY pope was a native of Rome, and being received among the clergy, discharged the inferior functions of the ministry in the church of SS. John and Paul. His great sanctity recommended him to the love and veneration of all who knew him, and Pope John II. dying on the 26th of April, 535, Agapetus, who was at that time archdeacon, was chosen to fill the holy see, and ordained on the 4th of May. He healed by mildness the wounds which had been made by dissensions, and by the unhappy schism of Dioscorus against Boniface II. in 529. The Emperor Justinian, being apprized of his election, sent to him a profession of his faith, which the holy pope received as orthodox, and, in compliance with his request, condemned the Acæmetes monks at Constantinople, who were tainted with the Nestorian heresy. Hilderic, king of the Vandals in Africa, having been deposed by Gilimer, Justinian took that occasion to break the alliance which the Emperor Zeno had made with Genseric, and in the year 533, the seventh of his reign, sent Belisarius with a fleet of five hundred sail into Africa. That experienced general made an easy conquest of the whole country, and took Carthage almost without opposition. Justinian sent to the churches in Jerusalem the vessels of the ancient Jewish temple, which Titus had formerly brought to Rome, and which Genseric had carried from thence to Carthage. He re-established the temporal government of Africa, which he divided into seven provinces, Zeugitana, named heretofore the Proconsular, that of Carthage, Byzacena, and that of Tripoli; which four had for governors men of consular dignity: the three others, Numidia, Mauritania, and Sardinia, had only presidents. All these were subject to the Præfectus Prætorio of Africa, who resided at Carthage. Each province had its primate, though in Numidia that dignity was not annexed to any particular see, but was enjoyed by the oldest bishop in the province, as in the time of St. Cyprian. These churches being restored to the Catholics, both the emperor and the bishops of Africa wrote to the pope, entreating him to allow that such Arian bishops as came over to the Catholic faith, should retain their sees. Agapetus answered them both, that he could not act in that point against the canons, and that the Arian bishops ought to be satisfied with being received into the Catholic church, without pretending to be admitted among the clergy, or to retain any ecclesiastical dignity. The emperor having built the city Justinianæa, near the village where he was born, desired the pope to appoint the bishop of this new see his vicar in Illyricum.

Theodatus, king of the Goths in Italy, hearing that Justinian was making preparations for an expedition to recover Italy, obliged Pope Agapetus to undertake a voyage to Constantinople, in order to divert him from such a design. About the same time the Catholic abbots at Constantinople wrote to St. Agapetus, to acquaint him with the disorders and dangers into which that church was fallen. Epiphanius, patriarch of Constantinople, dying in 535, Anthimus, bishop of Trebizond, was called to that see, by the interest of the Empress Theodora. He passed for a Catholic, but was in truth an enemy to the council of Chalcedon, as well as that princess herself. The removal of Anthimus to Constantinople so much encouraged the Acephali, that Severus, the false patriarch of Antioch, and other chiefs of that sect, repaired thither, and filled that church with confusion. Agapetus informed these Catholic abbots that he was coming himself to Constantinople; whereupon they waited his arrival. St. Gregory the Great relates 1 that the good pope, in his journey through Greece, cured a man who was lame and dumb, by saying mass for him. St. Agapetus reached Constantinople on the 2nd of February, in 536, and was received by the emperor with respect. The pope, true to his trust, pressed him on the business which had brought him thither; but that prince had proceeded too far to think of drawing off his forces from the expedition into Italy. St. Agapetus therefore began to treat of religious affairs. He absolutely refused to admit Anthimus to his communion, unless he publicly subscribed the council of Chalcedon, and would by no means allow of his translation to the see of Constantinople. The empress employed all her power and all her artifices to gain this point of him. 2 The emperor also plied him both with large promises, and with threats of banishment; but the holy man was inflexible, and at length Anthimus went back to Trebizond, for fear of being compelled to receive the council of Chalcedon. The pope declared him excommunicated, unless by subscribing that synod he declared himself a Catholic; which drew upon the saint the whole fury of the Eutychian party, and of the empress. His constancy, however, baffled all their efforts, and Mennas, a person of great learning and piety, was chosen patriarch of Constantinople, and consecrated by the pope. Several petitions were delivered to St. Agapetus, containing complaints and accusations of heresy, and other crimes, against Severus, and certain other bishops of the party of the Acephali, which the pope was preparing to examine in a council, when he fell sick, and died at Constantinople on the 17th of April, in 536, having sat about eleven months, and three weeks. His body was brought to Rome, and interred in St. Peter’s church on the Vatican, on the 20th of September, the day which the Western church has consecrated to his memory. The Greeks commemorate his name on the day of his death, the 17th of April. See his epistles, and other monuments, Conc. t. 5; also Liberatus Breviar. c. 21, 22, and Anastasius’s Pontifical, especially the new edition, or Liber Pontificalis, seu de Gestis Rom. Pontificum, quem cum Cod. MSS. collatum emendavit et supplevit Joannes Vignolius, Bibl. Vaticanæ Præfectus alter: Romæ, 1756, three vol. in 4to. Cle, t. 6, Sept. p. 163.

Note 1. Dial. l. 5, c. 3. [back]

Note 2. If we consider the great actions of Justinian, we shall be inclined to think, that in his reign the glory of the ancient Roman empire was revived: but if we look narrowly into his vices and bad administration, we shall rank him among tyrants. This prince began his reign in 527, and died in 565. To reform the laws, which, by their multitude, confusion, and contradictions, were become a public nuisance, and the heaviest burden and oppression of the people for whose protection they were established, he caused the Code to be compiled, consisting of select constitutions of preceding emperors, which he published in 529, and more correctly again in 534. The most useful decisions of the ablest lawyers he published under the title of Digestum or Pandectæ, in 533. He caused his institutes to be composed in four books, to serve as an introduction to his Pandectæ. He added a great number of ecclesiastical and other laws under the title of Novellæ. These works compose to this day the body of the Roman or Civil Law.

The laws, edicts, and letters which go under the name of Justinian, are stamped with such marks of gravity, wisdom, and majesty, as to surpass all the others. Though this performance does so much honour to his memory, it is certain that this prince was more desirous to give to his subjects good laws than good magistrates; he aspired not so much to the glory of impartially administering justice, as to the vanity of being a legislator to posterity; his actions were far from being examples of that equity, of which his laws and lessons were rules. (See F. Daude, Jesuit, Historia Universalis Romani Imperii, t. 2, at Wirtzburg, anno 1754.). The questor Trebonian, a heathen, the principal and most learned of all the lawyers whom he employed in compiling these works, openly sold his sentences, and suppressed, or made laws as his interest or passions inclined him, as Procopius, (l. de Bello Persico, c. 24, 25,) and Suidas (v. Trebon.) assure us.

Justinian adorned his imperial city and other parts of his dominions with stately churches and other buildings in an elegant taste, by which he added a lustre to his empire: yet by them he seemed rather to offer incense to his own vanity, than to raise his view to more noble prospects. He rescued Africa and Italy out of the hands of barbarians: but he devoured his own subjects, studying by every act of oppression, perfidy, and treachery to amass treasures to feed his own extravagance and vices, and those of his empress Theodora, and Antonina the wife of Belisarius. Never did any prince meddle so much with the affairs of the church, as appears by the great number of laws which he made in his Novellæ, to regulate almost its whole discipline; and by an unhappy itch to be always disputing about the most abstruse theological points and mysteries of faith, in canvassing which he spent much of that time which he owed to the government of his empire. Having himself little or no learning, if we may believe Suidas, he was not happy in the choice of his theologians, and he contributed very much to widen and inflame the wounds, and increase the distraction of the Oriental churches. The issue of his presumptuous curiosity and inquiries was, that he fell into the heresy of the Incorrupticolæ which he confirmed by an edict in which he declared that Christ’s body, in his mortal state, was never liable to any alteration, or even natural passion, such as hunger, thirst, or pain, and that he ate without any necessity. (Procop. de Bello Gothico, l. 3, c. 35 et 33, et Anecdot. c. 18.)

Procopius, a native of Cæsarea in Palestine, secretary to Belisarius in his expeditions in Africa and Italy, wrote two books On the Persian War, two On the Vandalic War, four On the Gothic War, and six On the Buildings of Justinian. In these histories the great actions of that emperor are displayed with honour. The same author left his [Greek], or the Secret History of Justinian, Theodora, Belisarius, and Antonina, which he brought down to the year 562, recounting the secret enormous crimes of those persons, and describing the court as a den of incarnate fiends rather than men. In the printed copies, some pages relating to the obscenities of Theodora are justly omitted, which are preserved in the MS. copy in the Vatican Library. The author discovers, by his inconsistency, at least, his own disingenuity. In his first works he flattered his prince, as Velleius Paterculus commended Sejanus, whom, had he wrote two years later, after the fall of that wicked minister, he would have described as one of the most execrable monsters of the human race. The last work of Procopius seems the production of disappointed ambition and spleen, and is probably in great part a collection of slander. Though the author professed himself a Christian, this he probably did with views to temporal interest; for in many parts of his last work he betrays an aversion to the faith, and an attachment to the wild superstitions of idolatry, as Eichelius proves at length, Præfat. in Procop. Anecdot. n. 17, ad 22. See the edition of Helmstadt, 1654. But we want not this secret history of Procopius to come at the true character of Justinian. [back]

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


SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/9/202.html