lundi 12 septembre 2016

Saint AILBHE (ALBEUS, AILBE, ELVIS) d'EMLY, évêque et confesseur

Saint Ailbe

Évêque irlandais (6ème s.)

ou saint Elvis

moine puis élu évêque, parce qu’il était un grand prédicateur qui par sa cordialité gagnait les âmes des irlandais.


autre source (en anglais): archidiocèse de Cashel et Emly (Irlande)


À Emly en Irlande, vers 528, saint Ailbe, évêque et abbé, qui parcourut le pays pour prêcher l’Évangile.


Martyrologe romain




Saint Ailbhe, évêque d'Emly
(Albeus, Elvis, Ailbe)

5ième ou 6ième siècle (mort 526-540?). Bien qu'ils soient nombreux ceux qui pensent erronément que saint Patrick fut le premier à apporter le Christianisme en Irlande, saint Ailbhe fut convertit par des missionnaires Brittons. Certaines traditions rapportent qu'il aurait été Baptisé par un prêtre, alors qu'il était garçonnet, dans le nord de l'Irlande; une autre dit que c'était dans une implantation Brittonique en Irlande. Dans les 2 cas, il avait déjà fait un pélerinage à Rome avait que Patrick n'arrive - certains affirment qu'il y aurait été fait évêque.

A son retour en Irlande, il devint disciple de Patrick, et selon certains, fut consacré comme premier archévêque de Munster par lui. Ailbhe fixa son siège à Emly (Imlech, Comté Tipperary, bien que la cathédrale se trouve à présent à Cashel), siège qui est officiellement enregistré par le Vatican comme ayant été fondé au 4ième siècle, en faisant le plus ancien siège épiscopal continuel d'Irlande.

Il était connu comme un puissant enseignant et un modèle de sainteté, qui gagna nombre d'âmes à la Foi. Bien qu'il aie vécu dans le monde afin de prendre soin des âmes de son troupeau, il prit aussi soin de la sienne. Il fit de fréquentes retraites et récollections. Saint Ailbhe aimait particulièrement prier en bord de mer. Le roi Aengus de Munster lui donna l'île d'Aran (Comté Galway) sur laquelle il ira fonder un grand monastère et établira saint Enda comme abbé. Il rédigea aussi une Règle pour la communauté, dont on possède encore le texte.

Devenu âgé, il voulut quitter son siège et se retirer dans la solitude de Thule (Shetland? Islande? Groenland?) pour préparer son décès, alors le roi fit poster des gardes aux portes pour l'empêcher de partir. Dès lors, saint Ailbhe mourrut au milieu de ses travaux épiscopaux et devint le principal patron du Munster.

Il existe nombre de récits sur saint Ailbhe : qu'il aurait Baptisé saint Dewi (David) du Pays de Galles; qu'un Ange lui aurait indiqué le "lieu de sa résurrection", Emly; qu'il était en constant dialogue avec les Anges. Même son nom est relié à une légende : Ailbhe, qui signifierait "rocher vivant" en Gaëlique, aurait été trouvé abandonné sous un rocher et allaité par une louve, et ainsi appelé par sa famille adoptive. L'histoire continue en racontant que par la suite, alors qu'il chassait avec certains compagnons, une vieille louve serait venue se réfugier auprès de lui (Bénédictins, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Montague).

Une autre Vie :


Saint Ailbhe appartient à une période incertaine et pleine de controverses sur l'Histoire d'Irlande. Il y a des preuves qu'il est un des premiers missionnaires Chrétiens en Irlande - avant saint Patrick ! - mais les historiens "Patriciens" les rejettent - peut-être avec une arrière-pensée politique? Qui sait! Cependant, il est reconnu comme le saint patron de l'actuel archidiocèse de Cashel et Emly, qui se trouve dans dans la partie sud du centre de l'Irlande, et comprend les Comtés de Tipperary et Limerick. Il est probablement le fondateur de la première et ancienne cathédrale d'Emly. On trouvera une histoire typique de lui sur le site internet de l'archidiocèse de Cashel et Emly,  http://ireland.iol.ie/~pjackson/acesaint.htm , qui nous rapporte qu'Ailbhe réussit à sauver une louve (voir le nom sur la liste) qui allait être tuée et que par la suite la louve mangea à sa table.

Les informations plus sérieuses semblaient se retrouver dans la traduction de la vie de saint Declan d'Ardmore ,

 http://www.ccel.org/d/declan/life/declan.html , qui indique clairement qu'Ailbhe et Ciaran (tous 2 saints) précédèrent Patrick dans la mission Irlandaise, que la Vie de saint Patrick confirme que Patrick serait venu en Irlande peu après Ailbhe et Ciaran comme supérieur de la hiérarchie catholique. Malheureusement, la Vie de saint Declan contient de toute évidence des contradictions, rendant ces faits controversés. La Vie de saint Declan, en plus, semble établir Declan comme un autre des missionnaires Chrétiens Irlandais pré-Patriciens. Les autres candidats membres à cette élite sont Ibar, Brigitte, Senan, et peut-être "Mac [ fils de ] Cairthinn" (voir Vie de saint Senan http://www.solaw.com/jg4/senan/  ). Un autre exemple de confusion flagrante est mis en évidence par les noms Celtiques de naissance de la liste ci-dessus qui dit que saint Ailbhe aurait vécu au 6ième siècle. Cela corroborerait l'information du site internet de l'archidiocèse de Cashel et Emly qui indique 528 comme l'année de sa mort. Le site internet fait cependant remarquer que cela contredit alors l'affirmation qu'il aurait précédé Patrick en Irlande, puisque ce dernier y était au 5ième siècle. Mais la Vie de saint Declan continue en disant qu'Ailbhe, Declan, Ibar et Patrick s'étaient rencontrés et en Irlande, et à Rome, auparavant.

La meilleure information que j'aie trouvé vient du livre "The Flowering of Ireland: Saints, Scholars & Kings" par Katharine Scherman, Little Brown & Co, 1981 (reéditée en 1999 pour le St Patrick's Day). Extraits :

p 83: "Mais lui [ Patrick] avait des prédécesseurs. A travers la nimbe de mythe qui entoure l'histoire de l'ancienne Eglise Irlandaise, émergent 4 saintes figures qui y étaient avant que Patrick ne vienne.. On ne sait plus grand chose d'eux, sinon leurs noms - saint Ciaran de Saighir et Ossory, saint Ailbhe d'Emly, saint Ibar de Beg Erin et saint Declan d'Ardmore - et quelques vivantes légendes sur leurs activités miraculeuses."

pp 84-85: "La figure de saint Ailbhe est aussi nébuleuse que celle de saint Ciaran. Sa vie aurait duré 167 ans, de 360 à 527. Il est probablement "composite" : les saints des anciens temps, dont le récit de la vie dépendait de la tradition orale de convertis récents qui étaient encore tous empreimpts de la magie et du mysticisme de leur jeunesse pré-Chrétienne, avaient tendance à se voir mélangés. Leurs actes, enregistrés plus tard par écrit par des moines eux-mêmes enveloppés dans un climat de confiance totale, furent enveloppés d'une aura de brouillard, et nombre de saints se retrouvèrent mélangés en un seul monument hyperbolique à la sainteté.

"Ailbhe naquit d'une jeune servante dans la maison de Cronan, seigneur d'Eliach au Comté de Tipperary. Cronan, pour des raisons non-révèlées, désapprouva cette naissance et ordonna qu'il soit exposé "aux chiens et bêtes sauvages, afin qu'il soit dévoré" (1) Le bébé fut retrouvé par une louve, qui en prit soin jusqu'à ce qu'un passant inconnu, probablement un Chrétien de Grande-Bretagne, remarquant sa beauté et sa grâce Chrétienne potentielle, le prit avec lui pour l'élever dans la foi. Après des études et une consécration à Rome, Ailbe fut dirigé par le pape, en même temps que "50  saints hommes d'Irlande", probablement des accompagnateurs récemment convertis, pour aller faire du prosélitisme parmi les païens d'un endroit inconnu en Europe. Alors, comme "la sagace abeille chargée de miel", il embarqua pour l'Irlande avec ses compagnons dans une barcasse inapropriée à la navigation maritime. En bénissant la mer, il les amena tous avec serénité dans un port au nord de l'Irlande, où il convertit le roi, Fintan, et ramena à la vie les 3 fils de Fintan, morts à la bataille.

Note de l'auteur [1]: "Les citations concernant la Vie de Saint Ailbhe à travers ce chapitre sortent du livre du Révérend John O'Hanlon, "Lives of the Irish Saints" [que je n'ai pas réussi à retrouver : 10 volumes, Dublin: J. Duffy & Sons, 1875].

"Saint Ailbe traversa l'Irlande, comme le fera saint Patrick après lui, convertissant en chemin, et s'installant pour finir à Emly, Comté de Tipperary, près du lieu de sa naisasnce. Là il fonda une église et une école, et promulgua la "Loi d'Ailbe", qu'on suppose être la première codification ecclésiastique en Irlande. Durant sa longue vie, il fut l'ami de nombre de saints hommes, dont bien entendu saint Patrick, qui l'aurait nommé archévêque de Munster. Quand il fut très âgé, il voulut se retirer à Tyle (Thule), l'île appelée à présent Islande, pour fuir les honneurs mondains et méditer parmi les saints ermites déjà établis sur cette blanche terre. Mais le roi Aengus de Munster (convertit par saint Patrick) refusa sa permission et plaça des gardes dans les ports de mer afin qu'il ne puisse pas échapper à ses responsabilités et les abandonnant à la multitude de ceux qui l'adulaient. Ailbe est appelé le "second saint Patrick", et il est un de ceux dont les actions et la personne se mèlent avec l'ombre du saint patron de l'Irlande."

p 86: "A Rome il [Saint Declan] rencontra Ailbé, déjà célèbre, et ils y devinrent de grands amis, ce qui devait durer jusqu'à la fin de leurs jours".

p 94: "Apocryphes comme la plupart des histoires qui tournent autour de la nébuleuse figure du patron de l'Irlande, c'est un fait historique que la structure d'une organisation Chrétienne vaguement modelée sur celle de Rome commença à prendre forme sous l'égide d'une forte personalité, personne seule ou "composite". Cela commença, probablement, lorsque Patrick partit défier la place-forte païenne de Cashel. (C'était le siège du roi Aengus, le Grand-roi de Munster, qui était une des 5 provinces d'Irlande, et à l'époque, avec Tara, la plus puissante). Cashel était la rivale traditionnelle de Tara.. et Patrick savait que la conversion de son roi était aussi importante pour sa mission qu'arriver à convaincre le roi Laoghaire de Tara. L'éloquent jeune homme réussi là où ses anciens, les 4 premiers saints d'Irlande, avaient échoué. Aengus devint son meilleur soutien, et Cashel fut le lieu des premières assemblées ecclésiastiques d'Irlande, quand Patrick y fit venir à lui Declan, Ibor, Ailbe et Ciaran pour l'arrangement des affaires ecclésiales.

Tropaire de saint Ailbe ton 4


Quand l'Illuminateur de l'Irlande revint de sa terre natale il te trouva toi, O saint Ailbe, prêchant la Foi à Emly,/
Où à la demande d'un Ange tu avais bâtit une église./
O avisé berger des âmes et glorieux ascète,/
O ami des animaux et collaborateur dans la mission avec le célèbre Patrick,/
Prie le Christ notre Dieu afin que nous devenions nous aussi des bastions de l'Orthodoxie/
Et un brillant exemple pour nos compatriotes, les tirant hors de l'ignorance et de l'erreur/
et les amenant à la vraie Foi afin que toutes les âmes soient sauvées.

On trouvera la Règle de saint Ailbe dans le livre "The Celtic Monk: Rules & Writings of Early Irish Monks" Uinseann O'Maidin OCR, pub. Cistercian Studies Series Number 162, 1996. ISBN: 0879076623 (pb) and 0879075627 (hb).


THE CELTIC MONK (en anglais) [ note del'éditeur : Règles et Ecrits des Anciens Moines Irlandais, traduits et annotés par Uinseann Ó Maidin, OCR. 1996      216 pp
$ 17.95       CS162      pb         ISBN 087907 662 3
$ 35.95       CS162      HC        ISBN 087907 562 7



paroisse catholique-romaine actuelle à Emly : http://www.tipp.ie/townsandvillages/tipperary/emly.htm
anciennement : http://www.tipp.ie/emly.htm




Ailbhe (Albeus, Ailbe) of Emly B (AC)

5th or 6th century (died 526-540?). Although many are under the mistaken belief that Saint Patrick was the first to bring Christianity to Ireland, Saint Ailbhe was converted by British missionaries. Some legends say that he was baptized by a priest while a boy in northern Ireland; another that he was baptized and raised in a British settlement in Ireland.


In either case, he had travelled to Rome before Patrick's arrival-- and some say that he was consecrated bishop there. Upon his return to Ireland, he became the disciple of Patrick and, according to some, was consecrated the first archbishop of Munster by him. Ailbhe fixed his see at Emly (Imlech, County Tipperary, though the cathedral is now at Cashel), which is officially listed by the Vatican as being founded in the 4th century, making it the oldest continuous see in Ireland. So even the testimony that Ailbhe was the first archbishop is unreliable.

He was known as a powerful preacher and a model of sanctity, who won many souls to the faith. Although he lived in the world in order to care for the souls of his flock, he was careful for his own soul, too. He made frequent retreats and engaged in habitual recollection. Saint Ailbhe especially loved to pray in front of the sea. King Aengus of Munster gave him Aran Island (Co. Galway) on which he founded a great monastery and established Saint Enda as abbot. He also drew up a still extant rule for the community.

When in his old age he wanted to resign and retire to the solitude of Thule (Shetland? Iceland? Greenland?) to prepare for death, the king stationed guards at the ports to prevent his flight. Thus, Saint Ailbhe died in the midst of his episcopal labors and is deemed the principal patron of Munster.
There are many legends about Saint Ailbhe: that he baptized Saint David of Wales; that an angel showed him the "place of his resurrection"--Emly; that he was in constant dialogue with the angels. Even his name points to a legend: Ailbhe, said to mean "living rock" in Gaelic, was a foundling left under a rock and suckled by a she-wolf, and thus named by his adoptive family. The story continues that later, while he was hunting with some companions, an aged female wolf ran to him for protection (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Montague). 



St. Ailbe

Bishop of Emly in Munster (Ireland); d. about 527, or 541. It is very difficult to sift out the germs of truth from among the mass of legends which have gathered round the life of this Irish saint. Beyond the fact, which is itself disputed, that he was a disciple of St. Patrick and was probably ordained priest by him, we know really nothing of the history of St. Ailbe. Legend says that in his infancy he was left in the forest to be devoured by the wolves, but that a she-wolf took compassion upon him and suckled him. Long afterwards, when Ailbe was bishop, an old she-wolf, pursued by a hunting party, fled to the Bishop and laid her head upon his breast. Ailbe protected his old foster-mother, and every day thereafter she and her little ones came to take their food in his hall. The Acts of St. Ailbe are quite untrustworthy; they represent Ailbe as preaching in Ireland before St. Patrick, but this is directly contradicted by St. Patrick's biographer, Tirechan. Probably the most authentic information we possess about Ailbe is that contained in Cuimmon's eulogium: Ailbe loved hospitality. The devotion was not untruthful. Never entered a body of clay one that was better as to food and raiment. His feast, which is 12 September, is kept throughout Ireland as a greater double.

Sources

The Acts of St. Ailbe may be found in the Codex Salmanticensis, edited in 1588 by the Bollandists under the title of Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae, at the charges of the Marquis of Bute (cf. SUYSKEN, in Acta SS., Sept., IV, 26-33); HEALY, Irish Schools and Scholars; LANIGAN, Eccl. Hist. of Ireland.

Thurston,, Herbert. "St. Ailbe." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 12 Sept. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01234b.htm>.

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

Saint Ailbe

Also known as
  • Ailbhe
  • Albert
  • Albeus
  • Elvis
  • The Patrick of Munster
Profile

Disciple of Saint Patrick. Effective evangelist throughout Ireland with the support of King Aengus of Munster. Noted for his charity and his excellent preaching. Little else is known for sure, but many stories and much speculation have attached to Ailbhe. He may have been the first bishop of Emly, Ireland. He may have founded a monastery at Killeaney, Inishmore, Ireland. One old story stays that he was born to parents so poor that they were unable to feed him, and abandoned him in the deep woods; a she-wolf, running from hunters, settled beside the baby and suckled him as one of her cubs; the hunters found them, saved the baby and spared the wolf.

Born
  • c.541 of natural causes

September 12

St. Albeus, Bishop and Confessor in Ireland

THIS saint, who is honoured as chief patron of Munster, one of the four provinces of Ireland, was converted by certain Britons, and had travelled to Rome before the arrival of St. Patrick among the Irish. After his return home, he became the disciple and fellow-labourer of that great apostle of his country, and being ordained by him first archbishop of Munster, fixed his see at Emly, 1 which has been long since removed to Cashel. With such a commanding authority did this apostolic man deliver the dictates of eternal wisdom to a rude and barbarous people, such was the force with which, both by words and example, he set forth the sanctity of the divine law, and so evident were the miracles with which he confirmed the heavenly truths which he preached, that the sacred doctrine easily made its way to the hearts of his hearers; and he not only brought over an incredible multitude to the faith of Christ, but infused into many the perfect spirit of the gospel, possessing a wonderful art of making men not only Christians but saints. King Engus having bestowed on him the isle of Arran, he founded in it a great monastery, which was so famous for the sanctity of its inhabitants, that from them the island was long called Arran of Saints. The rule which St. Albeus drew up for them is still extant in old Irish, as Bishop Usher testifies. Though zeal for the divine honour and charity for the souls of others fixed him in the world, he was always careful, by habitual recollection and frequent retreats, to nourish in his own soul the pure love of heavenly things, and to live always in a very familiar and intimate acquaintance with himself, and in the daily habitual practice of the most interior perfect virtues. In his old age it was his earnest desire to commit to others the care of his dear flock, that he might be allowed to prepare himself in the exercises of holy solitude for his great change. For this purpose he begged that he might be suffered to retire to Thule, the remotest country towards the northern pole that was known to the ancients, which seems to have been Shetland, or, according to some, Iceland, or some part of Greenland; but the king guarded the ports to prevent his flight, and the saint died amidst the labours of his charge in 525, as the Ulster and Inisfallen Annals testify. 2 See Usher, Antiquit. p. 409; Sir James Ware, Antiquit. Hibern. p. 319, and on the bishops of Ireland, with additions, by Harris, p. 491.

Note 1. The city of Emly was plundered by barbarians in 1122, and the mitre and principal relics of St. Albeus dispersed or burnt. The metropolitical dignity had been transferred to the city of Cashel about one hundred years before this; but the episcopal see of Emly still subsisted, till, in 1568, it was united to that of Cashel, the towns being only twelve miles distant. Emly is long since dwindled into an inconsiderable village. [back]

Note 2. The death of St. Albeus is placed (less probably) by the four masters in 541. Even by the first account he must have died in the hundred and sixty-fifth year of his age, as Harris observes. There must, therefore, be a mistake in the date of this saint’s death. Probably chronologers have confounded him with Albeus of Seanchua, who died in 545. [back]

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


Sep 12 – St Ailbe of Emly (d. 528) the Patrick of Munster

12 September, 2012

St Ailbe is regarded as the patron saint of Munster and his church at Emly  was for long the province’s chief ecclesiastical centre. He is the patron saint of the joint archdiocese of Cashel and Emly with the see at Thurles. The last bishop of Emly was Blessed Terence Albert O’Brien O.P., martyred 1651. Patrick Duffy […]

St Ailbe is regarded as the patron saint of Munster and his church at Emly  was for long the province’s chief ecclesiastical centre. He is the patron saint of the joint archdiocese of Cashel and Emly with the see at Thurles. The last bishop of Emly was Blessed Terence Albert O’Brien O.P., martyred 1651. Patrick Duffy tells Ailbe’s story.

Mythology and etymology

Both Ailbe’s name and the place where he founded his church have significant associations in their etymology and mythology.


Emly, Imleach Iubhair, perhaps takes its name, “the lakeside of the yew tree”, from a pre-Christian sacred yew tree at the place.

Ailbe itself was the name of a divine warhound guarding the boundaries of Leinster. Places such as Magh Ailbe, plain of Ailbe, on which stood the Lia Ailbe, the Standing Stone of Ailbe, are witness to this.

The name Ailbe is derived from the Irish words Ail (rock) and beo (alive). Ailbe was born to a maidservant in the house of Cronan, lord of Eliach in County Tipperary. Cronan, for reasons unrevealed, disapproved of his birth and directed that he be exposed to ‘dogs and wild beasts, that he might be devoured’. But, instead, the baby was found hidden under a rock (Ail) and alive (beo), by a she-wolf who reared him among her own cubs. The saint repaid the kindness toward the end of his life when a she-wolf chased by hunters took refuge with him. He ordered that it should not be harmed, and would come to eat with him each day.

The name Ailbe is Latinized as Albeus, and sometimes anglicized as Elvis.

Received the faith from South Wales

Ailbe is frequently named as leader among the four “Palladian bishops” all of whom ministered in the south of Ireland – Ailbe of Emly, Ibar of Begerin, Declan of Ardmore and Ciaran of Saighir – before or around the time of the arrival of St Patrick.


Since Ailbe was also known in South Wales, it seems certain that before Patrick there was a movement of Christians between the south of Wales and the south of Ireland. And it may be from this movement that Ailbe received his Christian faith. Another source says Ailbe baptised St David of Wales.

Friendship with Declan: visit to Rome

Ailbe was particularly friendly with Declan. The Life of Declan says: “They loved one another like brothers…”  The Life also says they both went to Rome and were ordained bishop by the Pope. Unlikely! But it could be an indication of a later claim for authority for him or his see.


Emly and Cashel

The Life of Declan also deferentially declares: “Humble Ailbe was the Patrick of Munster….”


The church Ailbe founded at Emly in south-west Tipperary became a centre of  formation for other well-known monastic saints, such as St Colman of Dromore and St Enda of Aran island.

Ailbe is said to have petitioned King Aengus of Cashel for a site for a monastery for Enda. Unaware that he had islands in his domain, Aengus that night dreamed about them and granted them to Enda. (The ancient connection between the Aran Islands and the region of his kingdom may be discerned in the name Tiobarad Árann).

Another interesting story is that Ailbe’s tomb, long forgotten, was discovered in Cashel in 580 when St Brendan of Birr came on a visit to inaugurate the new king.

Emly later became an important ecclesiastical centre and diocese. In 1718 it was united with Cashel and St Ailbe is the patron of the joint archdiocese.

Ailbe’s monastic Rule

A ninth century monastic rule bears Ailbe’s name. It consists of 56 verses in Irish, including these instructions to a monk:


Let him be steady, let him not be restless, let him be wise, learned, pious; let him be vigilant; let him be a slave; let him be humble kindly.

Let him be gentle, close and zealous, let him be modest, generous and gracious; against the torrent of the world, let him be watchful, let him not be reproachful; against the brood of the world, let him be warlike.

The jewel of baptism and communion, let him receive it.

Let him be constant at prayer, his canonical hours let him not forget; his mind let him bow it down without insolence or contention.

A hundred genuflections for him at the Beata at the beginning of the day… thrice fifty psalms with a hundred genuflections every hour of vespers.

A genuflection thrice, earnestly, after going in past the altar rail, without frivolity and without excitement, going into the presence of the king of the angels.

A clean house for the guests and a big fire, washing and bathing for them, and a couch without sorrow.

Death

According to the Annals of Innisfallen, which draws on records originally compiled at Emly, Ailbe died in 528.