dimanche 10 janvier 2016


Saint Agathon

Pape (79 ème) de 678 à 681 ( 681)

Originaire de Sicile, il fut le bon pasteur (agathos en grec) qui présida à l'organisation de la jeune Église d'Angleterre, rétablissant l'Orthodoxie de la foi au sixième Concile œcuménique qui refusa l'hérésie monothéliste qui faisait du Christ un dieu par la grâce et non par nature. Les Pères du concile lurent le message de saint Agathon et déclarèrent: "Pierre a parlé par la bouche d'Agathon." 

À Rome près de saint Pierre, en 681, la mise au tombeau de saint Agathon, pape, qui défendit l’intégrité de la foi contre les monothélites et promut l’unité de l’Église en plusieurs synodes.

Saint Agatton (678-681)

Pendant son pontificat se déroula le concile de Rome.

Il envoya à Constantinople une délégation afin de participer au 3e concile œcuménique qui condamna les monothélètes.

Élevé sur la chaire pontificale en juin 678, saint Agathon, Sicilien d’origine, était d’une grande douceur et d’une candeur exquise. Il était moine de Saint-Hermès à Palerme, sous la règle bénédictine, et il avait dépassé les limites extrêmes de la vie humaine lorsqu’il fut élu Pape âgé alors de cent trois ans.
L’événement le plus marquant de son pontificat fut le sixième concile général, réuni à Constantinople. En y envoyant ses légats, après le concile de Rome, il les chargea d’une lettre où, au sujet de l’hérésie des monothélites qui devait être discutée, il la réprouva nettement et démontra la nécessité d’une double volonté en Jésus-Christ par suite de Sa double nature.
Sa lettre disait également : « L’univers catholique reconnaît l’Église romaine pour la mère et la maîtresse de toutes les autres. Sa primauté vient de saint Pierre, le prince des Apôtres, à qui Jésus-Christ a confié la conduite de tout le troupeau, avec la promesse que sa Foi ne faillirait jamais. »
Le concile se rangea à son avis et condamna le monothélisme. Et les Pères s’écrièrent : « Pierre a parlé par la bouche d’Agathon ! »
Le saint pontife mourut le 10 janvier, ayant mérité, par ses miracles, le surnom de « Thaumaturge ». C’était l’an 682, Constantin IV empereur d’Orient et Thierry III roi des Francs.

Agatho, Pope (RM)

Born in Sicily (Palermo?); died January 10, 681. Saint Agatho had been married for 20 years and become financially successful when he decided to enter Saint Hermes Monastery in Palermo. (He may be the Agatho referred to in the letter from Saint Gregory the Great authorizing the abbot to accept him if his wife entered a convent. If this were so, he would have been a very old man when he ascended to the Chair of Peter.)

Agatho, an amiable man, succeeded Donus as pope on June 27, 678. It appears that he was also efficient in business matters because he maintained the accounting records in his own hand, contrary to custom.

In the dispute discussed in yesterday's notice on Saint Berhtwald, in 679, Agatho heard the grievance of Bishop Saint Wilfrid of York against Bishop Saint Theodore of Canterbury. This is the first known appeal of an English bishop to Rome occasioned by Theodore's action as metropolitan to divide the see of York into four and depose Wilfrid. Seeking a compromise, Agatho decided that the see would remain divided but that Wilfrid should appoint the bishops to the three new sees. It seems that this was not the final decision in the matter.

The most important event of Agatho's pontificate was the Council of Constantinople (November 680 to September 681), to which Agatho sent legates with a letter that condemned the Monothelite heresy (Christ had only one will) and expounded traditional Catholic belief of two wills in Christ--one divine, one human. Most bishops at the council, led by Patriarch George of Constantinople, accepted, saying, "Peter has spoken by Agatho." The Monothelite heresy was condemned and Constantinople was reunited to Rome. By the time the decrees of the sixth general council had reached Rome, Agatho had died (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).

In art Pope Saint Agatho wears a tiara and holds a long cross. He is venerated at York, England, and Palermo, Italy (Roeder).

Pope St. Agatho

Born towards the end of the sixth century in Sicily; died in Rome, 681. It is generally believed that Agatho was originally a Benedictine monk at St. Hermes in Palermo, and there is good authority that he was more than 100 years old when, in 678, he ascended the papal chair as successor to Pope Donus. Shortly after Agatho became Pope, St. Wilfred, Archbishop of York, who had been unjustly and uncanonically deposed from his see by Theodore of Canterbury, arrived at Rome to invoke the authority of the Holy See in his behalf. At a synod which Pope Agatho convoked in the Lateran to investigate the affair, Wilfred was restored to his see. The chief event of Agatho's pontificate is, however the Sixth Ecumenical Council, held at Constantinople in 680, at which the papal legates presided and which practically ended the Monothelite heresy. Before the decrees of the council arrived in Rome for the approval of the pope, Agatho had died. He was buried in St. Peter's, 10 January, 681. Pope Agatho was remarkable for his affability and charity. On account of the many miracles he wrought he has been styled Thaumaturgus, or Wonderworker. His memory is celebrated by the Latin as well as the Greek Church.


Mann, Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages (London, 1902); Butler, Lives of the Saints (London, 1877); Montalembert, The Monks of the West (Boston), II, 383 sqq; Moberly in Dict. of Christ. Biogr. (London, 1877); Lobkowitz, Statistik der Papste (Freiburg and St. Louis, 1905).

Ott, Michael. "Pope St. Agatho." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 16 Feb. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01204c.htm>.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01204c.htm

January 10

St. Agatho, Pope

AGATHO, a Sicilian by birth, was remarkable for his charity and benevolence, a profound humility, and an engaging sweetness of temper. Having been several years treasurer of the church of Rome, he succeeded Domnus in the pontificate in 679. He presided by his three legates in the sixth general council and third of Constantinople, in 680, in the reign of the pious emperor Constantine Pogonatus, against the Monothelite heresy, which he confuted in a learned letter to that emperor, by the tradition of the apostolic church of Rome: “acknowledged,” says he, “by the whole Catholic church, to be the mother and mistress of all other churches, and to derive her superior authority from St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, to whom Christ committed his whole flock, with a promise that his faith should never fail.” This epistle was approved as a rule of faith by the same council, which declared, that Peter spoke by Agatho. This Pope restored St. Wilfrid to the see of York, and was a great benefactor to the Roman clergy and to the churches. Anastatius says, that the number of his miracles procured him the title of Thaumaturgus. He died in 682, having held the pontificate two years and a half. His feast is kept both by the Latins and Greeks. See Anastatius published by Bianchini, also Muratori and Labbè, Conc. T. 6. p. 1109.

The style of this pope’s letters is inferior to that both of his predecessors and successors. The reason he alleges in excusing the legates whom he sent to Constantinople for their want of eloquence, is because the graces of speech could not be cultivated amidst the incursions of Barbarians, whilst with much difficulty they earned their daily subsistence by manual labour; “but we preserve,” said he, with simplicity of heart, “the faith, which our fathers have handed down to us.” The bishops, his legates, say the same thing: “Our countries are harassed by the fury of barbarous nations. We live in the midst of battles, inroads, and devastations: our lives pass in continual alarms and anxiety, and we subsist by the labour of our hands.”

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