jeudi 7 avril 2016

Saint HÉGÉSIPPE (HEGESIPPUS), historien, écrivain chrétien et confesseur

Saint Hegesippus

Saint Hégésippe

Écrivain chrétien en Palestine ( 180)

Confesseur. 

Venu à Rome à l'époque du Pape Anicet, il y demeura jusqu'au pontificat du pape Eleuthère. Pendant son séjour, il composa une "Histoire de l'Église" depuis la Passion du Christ jusqu'à son temps.


Commémoraison de saint Hégésippe, qui vécut à Rome depuis le pape Anicet jusqu’à Éleuthère, vers 180, et composa une histoire de l’Église depuis la Passion du Seigneur jusqu’à son temps, dans un style simple.


Martyrologe romain


À Rome, saint Hégésippe, presque contemporain des Apôtres.
Il vint en cette ville trouver le pontife Anicet, et y demeura jusqu’au pontificat d’Éleuthère.
Pendant son séjour, il composa l’Histoire de l’Église depuis la Passion du Seigneur jusqu’à son temps, dans un style simple, dépeignant ainsi, dans sa manière d’écrire, la vie de ceux dont il suivait les exemples.
Saint Hégésippe vivait peu de temps après les Apôtres et devint, par son Baptême, membre de l’Église de Jérusalem ; il voyagea ensuite à Rome et en Orient, travaillant à l’édification de l’Église par ses recherches et par ses écrits.
Nous avons à regretter la perte de son Histoire de l’Église en cinq livres, qui commençait à la Passion du Sauveur et se terminait à l’époque même où il écrivait.
Saint Jérôme nous a laissé de ce pieux et savant auteur un témoignage très avantageux.

Hegesippus (RM)

Born in Jerusalem; died c. 180. Saint Hegesippus was a Jewish convert to Christianity in Jerusalem. He spent 20 years in Rome, from the pontificate of Saint Anicetus to that of Saint Eleutherius. He returned to Jerusalem in 177 after visiting most of the important Christian churches, and probably died at Jerusalem. He is considered the father of Church history for his five books on the history of the Church from the death of Christ up to the pontificate of Saint Eleutherius (c. 174-c. 189). Hegesippus was the first to trace the succession of popes from Saint Peter. Saint Jerome warmly commended the work and Eusebius drew on it heavily for his Ecclesiastical History. Unfortunately, only a few chapters of Hegesippus's work are extant. It should be noted that another man named Hegesippus is the compiler of the history of the destruction of Jerusalem, which was based on the history of Josephus (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).


April 7

St. Hegesippus

[A primitive Father, near the times of the Apostles.]  HE was by birth a Jew, and belonged to the church of Jerusalem, but, travelling to Rome, he lived there nearly twenty years from the pontificate of Anicetus to that of Eleutherius, in 177, when he returned into the East, where he died very old, probably at Jerusalem, in the year of Christ 180, according to the chronicle of Alexandria. He wrote in the year 133 a History of the Church, in five books, from the passion of Christ down to his own time, the loss of which work is extremely regretted. In it he gave illustrious proofs of his faith, and showed the apostolical tradition, and that though certain men had disturbed the church by broaching heresies, yet down to his time no episcopal see or particular church had fallen into error, but had in all places preserved inviolably the truths delivered by Christ, as he assures us. 1 This testimony he gave after having personally visited all the principal churches both of the East and West. He was a man replenished with the spirit of the apostles, and a love of Christian humility, which, says Jerom, he expressed by the simplicity of his style. The five books on the destruction of Jerusalem, compiled chiefly from the history of Josephus, are not the work of this father, as some have imagined; but of a younger Hegesippus, who wrote before the destruction of the Western empire, but after Constantine the Great. See Mabillon, Musæum Italicum, t. 1, p. 14, and Cave, Hist. Liter. t. 1, p. 265.

Note 1. Apud Eus. Hist. l. 4. c. 22. ed. Vales. [back]

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

Saint Hegesippus

a Primitive Father of the Church
(† 180)


Saint Hegesippus was by nation a Jew who joined the Church of Jerusalem, when the disasters attaining his unhappy land opened his eyes to see their cause. His writings were known to Saint Jerome and Eusebius and were praised by them and by all of antiquity. Saint Hegesippus journeyed to Rome, stopping to visit all important churches along his way, afterwards remaining there for nearly twenty years, from the pontificate of Pope Saint Anicetus to that of Saint Eleutherius. During the time of the latter he returned to the Orient, where he died at an advanced age, probably in Jerusalem in the year 180, according to the chronicle of Alexandria.


Saint Hegisippus wrote in the year 133 a history of the Church entitled Memoirs, which was composed of five books and covered the time from the Passion of Christ until that year, that is, one hundred years; the loss of this work, of which only a few fragments remain, is extremely regretted. In it he gave illustrious proofs of his faith, and placed in evidence the apostolic tradition, proving that although certain men had disturbed the Church by broaching heresies, yet even to his day no episcopal see or individual church had fallen into error. This testimony he gave after having personally visited all the principal churches, both of the East and the West, with the intention of gathering all authentic traditions concerning the life of Our Lord and of the Apostles.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 4; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).



Sant' Egesippo Scrittore cristiano


Sant’Egesippo viene considerato il primo autore post apostolico, probabilmente originario della Palestina e conoscitore del greco, dell’ebraico e del siriaco. Visse a Roma durante il papato di Aniceto fino a quello di Eleuterio e scrisse con stile semplice la Storia degli Atti Ecclesiastici dalla passione del Signore fino ai suoi giorni.

Martirologio Romano: Commemorazione di sant’Egesippo, che visse a Roma dal papato di Aniceto fino a quello di Eleuterio e compose con linguaggio semplice una storia della Chiesa dalla Passione del Signore fino ai suoi tempi.

Egesippo visse nella secondo secolo dell’era crisitana. Convertitosi dall’ebraismo, dalla alestina si trasferì prima a Corinto e poi a Roma onde scoprire meglio la fece cristiana. Nella capitale dell’impero trascorse vent’anni, dal 157 al 177, poi fece ritorno in Oriente, ove morì in età avanzata probabilmetne presso Gerusalemme, sebbene il Martyrologium Romanum in concordanza con il Card.Baronio indichi la Città Eterna quale luogo del suo transito. In ogni caso le notizie biografiche sul suo conto sono assai scarse e per di più parzialmente inattendibili.


Godettero di grande popolarità le sue “Memorie”, consistenti in studi di storia ecclesiastica relativi in particolar modo a Gerusalemme e mirati soprattutto a mostrare la fedele trasmissione della predicazione apostolica. Tali scritti sono suddivisi in cinque libri, redatti in stile semplice ma efficace nel confutare gli errori dello gnosticismo. Sfortunatamente si sono salvati all’oblio del tempo solamente alcuni frammenti, in prevalenza negli scritti di Eusebio di Cesarea, che molta stima nutrì per Egesippo quale storico ed a suo giudizio sarebbe stato proprio lui durante il suo soggiorno a Roma a redigere l’elenco dei primi papi.



Autore: Fabio Arduino