mardi 7 juillet 2015

Saint PANTANEUS d'ALEXANDRIE (ou PANTÈNE le Sicilien), Docteur de l'Église

Pantène, le sicilien

Père de l’Église, Saint
IIIe siècle

 Pantène, digne des temps apostoliques, florissait dans le second siècle de l'Église. Il était Sicilien de naissance et faisait profession de la philosophie stoïcienne. Son éloquence l'a fait appeler, par Clément d'Alexandrie, l’Abeille de Sicile. L'amour qu'il avait pour la vertu lui inspira de l'estime pour les chrétiens, et il se lia étroitement avec quelques-uns d'entre eux. Frappé de l'innocence et de la sainteté de leur vie, il se désabusa des superstitions du paganisme et ouvrit les yeux à la lumière de l'Évangile.
 Après sa conversion, il étudia les livres saints, sous les disciples des Apôtres. Pour en acquérir une plus parfaite intelligence, il alla fixer sa demeure à Alexandrie, en Égypte. Il y avait dans cette ville une célèbre école où l'on enseignait la doctrine chrétienne, et qui devait son établissement aux disciples de saint Mare.
 Pantène fit de rapides progrès dans la science des saintes lettres; mais il cachait par humilité ses rares talents. On les découvrit bientôt malgré lui, et on le tira de l'obscurité dans laquelle il avait cherché à vivre inconnu. Il fut mis à la tète de l'école des chrétiens, quelque temps avant l'an 179 de Jésus-Christ, qui était la première du règne de l'empereur Commode. Sa capacité, jointe à l'excellente méthode qu'il suivait en enseignant, lui acquit une réputation dont ne jouirent jamais les plus fameux philosophes. Ses leçons, qui étaient un composé du suc des fleurs qu'il ramassait dans les écrits des prophètes et dans ceux des Apôtres, portaient la lumière de la science et l'amour de la vertu dans les âmes de tous ceux qui venaient l'entendre. C'est le témoignage que lui rend Clément d'Alexandrie, un de ses disciples.
 Les Indiens que le commerce attirait à Alexandrie, eurent occasion de connaître saint Pantène. Ils le prièrent de passer dans leur pays pour y combattre la doctrine des brachmanes par celle de Jésus-Christ. Il se rendit à leurs instances , quitta son école, et partit pour les Indes, avec la permission de son évêque, qui l'établit prédicateur de l'Évangile pour les nations orientales. En arrivant dans les Indes, il y trouva quelques semences de la foi qui y avaient été jetées précédemment. Il y vit aussi un livre de l'Évangile de saint Matthieu, en hébreu, qui avait été laissé dans le pays par saint Barthélemy. Étant revenu à Alexandrie quelques années après, il y apporta ce livre avec lui.
 L'école de cette ville était alors gouvernée par le célèbre Clément. Saint Pantène continua toujours d'enseigner; mais il ne le lit plus qu'en particulier. Il exerça cet emploi jusqu'au règne de Caracalla, et, par conséquent, jusqu'avant l'année 216. On lit sou nom sous le 7 de juillet dans tous les martyrologes d'Occident.
SOURCE : http://nouvl.evangelisation.free.fr/pantene_le_sicilien.htm

Pantène ou Panthène : Philosophe stoïcien, il se convertit au christianisme puis fonda le célèbre centre d'enseignement de philosophie et de théologie connu sous le nom d'École d'Alexandrie ( avec Saint Clément d'Alexandrie et Origène ).

Nominis

Commémoraison de saint Panthène d’Alexandrie, homme apostolique, rempli de science et de sagesse ; il eut tant de zèle et d’amour pour la parole de Dieu qu’il alla, dit-on, prêcher l’Évangile du Christ, dans l’ardeur de sa foi et de son dévouement, jusqu’aux extrémités de l’Orient; puis revenu à Alexandrie, il y reposa dans la paix, sous Antonin Caracalla, vers 215.

Martyrologe romain



Pantaenus of Alexandria (RM)


Born in Sicily; died c. 216. Saint Pantaenus was a convert from Stoicism. He became the head of the catechetical school of Alexandria, which reached the height of its prestige under his direction. He is said to have ended his life as a missionary in India, but it is more likely that he worked in Ethiopia (Benedictines). In art, Saint Pantaenus is shown lecturing from the pulpit (Roeder).



Pantænus

Head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria about 180 (Eusebius, Church History V.10), still alive in 193 (Eusebius, "Chron." Abr., 2210). As he was succeeded by Clement who left Alexandria about 203, the probable date of his death would be about 200. He was trained in the Stoic philosophy; as a Christian missionary, he reached India (probably South Arabia), and found there Christians possessing the Gospel of St. Matthew in Hebrew, which they had received from St. Bartholomew. All this is given by Eusebius as what was "said" (Church History V.11). Eusebius continues: "In his 'Hypotyposes' he [Clement] speaks of Pantænus by name as his teacher. It seems to me that he alludes to the same person also in his 'Stromata'." In the passage of the "Stromata" (I.1), which Eusebius proceeds to quote, Clement enumerates his principal teachers, giving their nationality but not their names. The last, with whom Eusebius would identify Pantænus, was "a Hebrew of Palestine, greater than all the others [in ability], whom having hunted out in his concealment in Egypt, I found rest." These teachers "preserving the true tradition of the blessed doctrine from the Holy Apostles Peter and James, John and Paul . . . came, by God's will, even to us" etc. Against Eusebius's conjecture it may be suggested that a Hebrew of Palestine was not likely to be trained in Stoic philosophy. In its favour are the facts that the teacher was met in Egypt, and that Pantænus endeavoured to press the Greek philosophers into the service of Christianity. It may well be that a mind like Clement's "found rest" in this feature of his teaching.

Eusebius (VI, xiii) says again that Clement in his "Hypotyposes" mentioned Pantænus, and further adds that he gave "his opinions and traditions". The inference commonly drawn from this statement is that, in the extant fragments of the "Hypotyposes" where he quotes "the elders", Clement had Pantænus in mind; and one opinion or tradition in particular, assigned to "the blessed elder" (Eusebius, Church History VI.14), is unhesitatingly ascribed to Pantænus. But this is incautious, for we cannot be sure that Clement would have reckoned Pantænus among the elders; and if he did so, there were other elders whom he had known (Church History VI.13). Origen, defending his use of Greek philosophers, appeals to the example of Pantænus, "who benefited many before our time by his thorough preparation in such things" (Church History VI.19). That Pantænus anticipated Clement and Origen in the study of Greek philosophy, as an aid to theology, is the most important fact we know concerning him. Photius (cod. 118) states, in his account of the "Apology for Origen" by Pamphilus and Eusebius (see SAINT PAMPHILUS OF CÆSAREA), that they said Pantænus had been a hearer of men who had seen the Apostles, nay, even had heard them himself. The second statement may have been a conjecture based upon the identification of Pantænus with one of the teachers described in Stromata I.1, and a too literal interpretation of what is said about these teachers deriving their doctrine direct from the Apostles. The first statement may well have been made by Clement; it explains why he should mention Pantænus in his "Hypotyposes", a book apparently made up of traditions received from the elders. Pantænus is quoted;
  • (a) in the "Eclogæ ex Prophetis" (Migne, "Clem. Alex.", II, 723) and
  • (b) in the "Scholia in Greg. Theolog." of St. Maximus Confessor.
But these quotations may have been taken from the "Hypotyposes". The last named in his prologue to "Dionys. Areop." (ed. Corder, p. 36) speaks casually of his writings, but he merely seems to assume he must have written. A conjecture has been hazarded by Lightfoot (Apost. Fathers, 488), and followed up by Batiffol ("L'glise naissante", 3rd ed., 213 sqq.), that Pantænus was the writer of the concluding chapters of the "Epistle to Diognetus". The chief, though not the only ground for this suggestion, is that Anastasius Sinaita in two passages (ed. Migne, pp. 860, 892) singles out Pantænus with two or three other early Fathers as interpreting the six days of Creation and the Garden of Eden as figuring Christ and the Church — a line of thought pursued in the fragment.

Sources

BARDENHEWER, Gesch. der altkirch. Lit., II, 13 sqq.; HARNACK, Altchrist. Lit., 291 sqq.; TILLEMONT, Hist. ecclés., III, 170 sqq.; CEILLIER, Hist. des aut., II, 237 sqq.; ROUTH, Relig. sac., I, 237 sqq.

Bacchus, Francis Joseph. "Pantænus." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 7 Jul. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11446b.htm>.



St. Pantænus, Father of the Church

See St. Jerom, Catal. Clem. Alex. and Eusebius. Also Ceillier, t. 2, p. 237

THIS learned father and apostolic man flourished in the second age. He was by birth a Sicilian, and by profession a stoic philosopher. For his eloquence he is styled by St. Clement of Alexandria the Sicilian Bee. His esteem for virtue led him into an acquaintance with the Christians, and being charmed with the innocence and sanctity of their conversation he opened his eyes to the truth. He studied the holy scriptures under the disciples of the apostles, and his thirst after sacred learning brought him to Alexandria in Egypt, where the disciples of St. Mark had instituted a celebrated school of the Christian doctrine. Pantænus sought not to display his talents in that great mart of literature and commerce; but his great progress in sacred learning was after some time discovered, and he was drawn out of that obscurity in which his humility sought to live buried. Being placed at the head of the Christian school some time before the year 179, which was the first of Commodus, by his learning and excellent manner of teaching he raised its reputation above all the schools of the philosophers, and the lessons which he read, and which were gathered from the flowers of the prophets and apostles, conveyed light and knowledge into the minds of all his hearers, as St. Clement of Alexandria, his eminent scholar, says of him. The Indians who traded to Alexandria, entreated him to pay their country a visit, in order to confute their Brachmans. Hereupon he forsook his school, and was established by Demetrius, who was made bishop of Alexandria in 189, preacher of the gospel to the Eastern nations. Eusebius tells us that St. Pantænus found some seeds of the faith already sown in the Indies, and a book of the gospel of St. Matthew in Hebrew, which St. Bartholomew had carried thither. He brought it back with him to Alexandria, whither he returned after he had zealously employed some years in instructing the Indians in the faith. The public school was at that time governed by St. Clement, but St. Pantænus continued to teach in private till in the reign of Caracalla, consequently before the year 216, he closed a noble and excellent life by a happy death, as Rufinus writes. 1 His name is inserted in all western martyrologies on the 7th of July

The beauty of the Christian morality, and the sanctity of its faithful professors, which by their charms converted this true philosopher, appear no where to greater advantage than when they are compared with the imperfect and often false virtue of the most famous sages of the heathen world. 2 Into what contradictions and gross errors did they fall, even about the divinity itself and the sovereign good! To how many vices did they give the name of virtues! How many crimes did they canonize! It is true they showed indeed a zeal for justice, a contempt of riches and pleasures, moderation in prosperity, patience in adversities, generosity, courage, and disinterestedness. But these were rather shadows and phantoms than real virtues, if they sprang from a principle of vanity and pride, or were infected with the poison of interestedness or any other vitiated intention, which they often betrayed, nay sometimes openly avowed, and made a subject of their vain boasts.

Note 1. Rufin. b. 5, c. 10. [back]

Note 2. Socrates in all things he said, used to add this form of speech, “By my Demon’s leave.” Just upon the point of expiring, he ordered a cock to be sacrificed to Esculapius. (Plato’s Phædo sub finem.) And in his trial we read one article of his impeachment to have been a charge of unnatural lust. Thales, the prince of naturalists, being asked by Crœsus what God was, put off that prince from time to time, saying, “I will consider on it.” But the meanest mechanic among the Christians can explain himself intelligibly on the Creator of the Universe. Diogenes could not be contented in his tub without gratifying his passions. And when with his dirty feet he trod upon Plato’s costly carpets, crying that he trampled upon the pride of Plato, he did this, as Plato answered him, with greater pride. Pythagoras affected tyranny at Thurium, and Zeno at Pyrene. Lycurgus made away with himself because he was unable to bear the thought of the Lacedæmonians correcting the severity of his laws. Anaxagoras had not fidelity enough to restore to strangers the goods which they had committed to his trust. Aristotle could not sit easy till he proudly made his friend Hermias sit below him; and he was as gross a flatterer of Alexander for the sake of vanity, as Plato was of Dionysius for his belly. From Plato and Socrates the stoics derived their proud maxim, “The wise man is self-sufficient.” Epictetus himself allows “to be proud of the conquest of any vice.” Aristotle (Ethic ad Nicom. l. 10, c. 7,) and Cicero patronize revenge. See B. Cumberland of the Laws of Nature, c. 9, p. 346. Abbé Batteux demonstrates the impiety and vices of Epicurus mingled with some virtues and great moral truths. (La Morale d’Epicure, à Paris, 1758.) The like blemishes may be found in the doctrine and lives of all the other boasted philosophers of paganism. See Theodoret. De curandis Græcor. affectibus, &c. [back]

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

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/7/071.html