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

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Tony Camele.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Pope Saint Agatho

Also known as
  • Agathon
  • Agatone

Married layman and successful businessman for most of his life. In maturity he finally followed a call to God, and with his wife’s blessing, he became a monk at Saint Hermes’ monastery in Palermo, Sicily. Vatican treasurer. Pope.
As pontiff, Agatho brought his business skills to the throne, maintaining the accounting records himself. He worked to resolve a dispute between Saint Wilfrid of Yorkand Saint Theodore of Canterbury concerning diocesan boundaries in England; this was the first known occasion of English bishops appealing to Rome for a decision. He condemned the Monothelite heresy, andwrote definitive texts concerning the nature of Christ’s will; his writings and authority swayed the Council of Constantinople, and reunited Constantinople with Rome, though he died before the good news reaches him.

Papal Ascension


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

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/1/102.html

Sant' Agatone Papa

m. 681

(Papa dal 27/06/678 al 10/01/681)

Consacrato pontefice il 26 giugno del 678, quando, secondo la leggenda, avrebbe avuto 103 anni. Il 12 agosto ricevette dall'imperatore Costantino Pagonato una lettera nella quale questi si dichiarava pronto a riprendere il progetto di riunificazione ecclesiastica tra Roma e Bisanzio. Egli pensava di indire una conferenza episcopale in cui fossero discussi i problemi emergenti ed eliminata ogni controversia. A questo scopo chiedeva al papa l'invio a Costantinopoli di alcuni suoi rappresentanti. Per preparare la delegazione Agatone riunì in Laterano il 27 marzo del 680 un Concilio italiano che scelse i rappresentanti episcopali da mandare a Bisanzio insieme ai legati pontifici e approvò il testo sinodale che sarebbe stato presentato alla conferenza. La delegazione occidentale giunse il 10 settembre del 680. Quella che era stata indetta come una conferenza divenne, però, un vero e proprio Concilio ecumenico, il sesto in Oriente. Dopo 18 sedute si arrivò ad un decreto emanato il 16 settembre del 681 e alla richiesta al Papa di confermare le decisioni prese. Ma Agatone era già morto il 10 gennaio del 681 ed era stato sepolto in San Pietro. (Avvenire)

Etimologia: Agatone = buono, dal greco

Martirologio Romano: A Roma presso san Pietro, deposizione di sant’Agatone, papa, che contro gli errori dei monoteliti custodì integra la fede e promosse con dei sinodi l’unità della Chiesa. 

Fu consacrato pontefice il 26 giugno del 678, secondo una leggenda aveva raggiunto 103 anni ma ragionava ancora bene. 

Il 12 agosto ricevette dall’imperatore Costantino Pagonato una lettera nella quale questi, avendo ormai risolte le questioni militari, si dichiarava pronto a riprendere il progetto di riunificazione ecclesiastica tra Roma e Bisanzio. 

Egli pensava di indire una conferenza episcopale in cui fossero discussi i problemi emergenti ed eliminata ogni controversia. A questo scopo chiedeva al papa l’invio a Costantinopoli di alcuni suoi rappresentanti che fossero bene al corrente di tutta la problematica. Assicurava inoltre un ampia protezione imperiale alla delegazione stessa. 

Per preparare la delegazione Agatone riunì in Laterano il 27 marzo del 680 un concilio italiano che scelse i rappresentanti episcopali da mandare a Bisanzio insieme ai legati pontifici e approvò il testo sinodale che sarebbe stato presentato alla conferenza. 

Vi era esposta la dottrina delle due volontà e i modi di agire in Cristo con riferimento esplicito a quanto deciso nel concilio Lateranense da Martino I. 

La delegazione occidentale giunse il 10 settembre del 680 a Costantinopoli e fu accolta dal patriarca Giorgio che provvide a convocare i metropoliti ed i vescovi bizantini. Quella che era stata indetta come una conferenza divenne infine un vero e proprio concilio ecumenico, il sesto in Oriente. Alla prima sessione risultarono infatti presenti i rappresentanti di tutti i patriarcati; essa si aprì il 7 novembre del 680 in una sala del palazzo imperiale. 

Presidente era l’imperatore, affiancato da due presbiteri e un diacono romani quali rappresentanti del papa. 

In Italia nel frattempo scoppiò una grave pestilenza che fece un numero impressionante di vittime. 

A Costantinopoli intanto il concilio andò avanti; dopo 18 sedute si arrivò ad un decreto emanato il 16 settembre del 681. In esso si ribadiva la professione di fede stabilita dai cinque precedenti concili e si approvava all’unanimità la dottrina delle due volontà e delle due energie in Cristo, che non erano in contrasto con loro, confermando inoltre il testo sinodale del Laterano. 

L’eresia monotelita fu ovviamente condannata. 

Il concilio indirizzò infine uno scritto al papa pregandolo di confermare le decisioni prese. 

Ma Agatone era già morto il 10 gennaio del 681 ed era stato sepolto in San Pietro: aveva raggiunto, a quanto pare, 107 anni. 

Agatone ricevette anche la sottomissione dell’arcivescovo di Ravenna, Teodoro, il quale mise fine ad una autocefalìa condannata da Roma. 

Agatone si interessò anche della sorte della Chiesa anglosassone: ricevette paternamente l’abate di Wearmouth, Benedetto Biscop, e rimise sul suo legittimo seggio l’arcivescovo di York, Vilfrido, ingiustamente deposto da Teodoro di Canterbury. 

Sant’Agatone si distinse per profondità di dottrina e spirito caritativo specialmente verso i poveri. E’ il patrono di Palermo.