dimanche 27 novembre 2016

Saint VIRGILE (FERGAL, FEARGAL, VERGILIUS) de SALZBOURG, missionnaire, abbé et évêque


Statue de saint Virgile devant la cathédrale de Salzbourg

Saint Virgile

Abbé et évêque de Salzbourg ( 784)

ou Fergal. 

Il était originaire d'Irlande, passa deux ans en France sous le règne de Pépin le Bref, avant d'être élevé au rang d'évêque de Salzbourg dans la Carinthie autrichienne. Il eut quelques démêlés avec saint Boniface, l'apôtre de la Germanie, qui l'accusait d'avoir affirmé qu'il existait des étoiles habitées. Le Pape Zacharie par son silence calma cette "grave affaire".

À Salzbourg en Bavière, l’an 784, saint Virgile (ou Fergal), abbé et évêque. Homme de grand savoir, d’origine irlandaise, mis à la tête de l’Église de Salzbourg grâce à la faveur du roi Pépin, il construisit son église cathédrale en l’honneur de saint Rupert et travailla avec bonheur à semer la foi parmi les Slaves de Carinthie.

Martyrologe romain

SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/138/Saint-Virgile.html



Virgil of Salzburg, OSB B (RM)

(also known as Feargal, Fearghal, Fergal, Virgilius)

Born in Ireland; died in Salzburg, Austria, November 27, c. 781-784; canonized 1233 by Pope Gregory IX.


Virgil was an Irish monk, possibly of Aghaboe, who went abroad about 740 intending to visit Palestine. With him were Dobdagrec, later abbot of a monastery at Chiemsee, and Sidonius, afterwards bishop of Passau. His learning and ability attracted the attention of Blessed Pepin the Short, who kept him at the Merovingian court for two years. About 743, Pepin sent Virgil with letters of recommendation to his brother-in- law, Duke Odilo of Bavaria, who, c. 745, appointed Virgil abbot of Saint Peter's Monastery at Salzburg, with jurisdiction over the local Christians, while Dobdagrec served its episcopal functions.

Instead of visiting Palestine he remained in Bavaria to help Saint Rupert, the apostle of Austria. For 40 years he labored to convert Teutons and Slavs, founded monasteries, churches, and schools. (In 774, the council of Bavaria issued its first pronouncement on the establishment of schools.)

Virgil appears to have been a somewhat difficult character and he incurred the strong disapproval of Saint Boniface, who seems to have detested him. (Perhaps because of differences in the interpretations of Roman observance or jurisdiction, or because Virgil succeeded John whom Boniface had as abbot of Saint Peter's, or just personal differences.) Boniface twice delated him to Rome. On the first occasion Pope Saint Zachary decided in Virgil's favor. Through carelessness or ignorance, a priest had used incorrect Latin wording during a baptism. Virgil and Sidonius ruled that the baptism was valid and need not be repeated; Boniface of Mainz disagreed. Zachary was surprised that Boniface should have questioned it and issued a statement to that effect.

The other case concerned Virgil's cosmological speculations and their implications, which, as reported to Zachary by Boniface, the pope found very shocking. In 748, the pope directed Boniface to convene a council to investigate the questionable views, but the council was never convened. The incident has been the subject of much discussion and has been used and exaggerated for polemical purposes, but in fact it is far from clear what Virgil's ideas really were. It appears that Virgil postulated that the world was round and that people might be living in what would now be called the Antipodes. He was both a man of learning and a successful missionary, and even after his cosmological views were called into question, he was consecrated bishop of the see of Salzburg (c. 766), whose cathedral he rebuilt.

Saint Virgil brought relics and the veneration of Saints Brigid and Samthann of Clonbroney to the areas he evangelized. In fact, Saint Samthann, who may have provided Virgil with his early education, is better known in Austria than in her homeland.

Among his other good works, Virgil sent fourteen missionary monks headed by Saint Modestus into the province of Carinthia, of which he is venerated as the evangelizer. He baptized two successive dukes of Carinthia at Salzburg (Chetimar and Vetune). His influence is revealed by the issuance during the time of duke Chetimar of a Carinthian coin, an old Salzburg rubentaler, with the images of Saint Rupert, who built Saint Peter's monastery, and Virgil. He fell ill and died soon after making a visitation in Carinthia, going as far as the place where the Dravo River meets the Danube.

His feast is kept throughout Ireland, although he is buried at St. Peter's in Salzburg. Virgil is widely venerated in southern Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, and northern Italy (Attwater, Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Fitzpatrick, Gougaud, Healy, Husenbeth, Kenney, Montague).

Sometimes he is paired with Saint Rupertus in artwork (Roeder). Virgil is the patron of Salzburg, Austria (Farmer).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/1127.shtml

St. Vergilius of Salzburg

Irish missionary and astronomer, of the eighth century. Vergilius (or Virgilius, in Irish Fergal, Ferghil, or Feirghil) is said to have been a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages. In the "Annals of the Four Masters" and the "Annals of Ulster" he is mentioned as Abbot of Aghaboe, in Queen's County. About 745 he left Ireland, intending to visit the Holy land, but, like many of his countrymen, who seemed to have adopted this practice as a work of piety, he settled down in France, where he was received with great favour by Pepin, then mayor of the Palace under Childeric III. After spending two years at Cressy, near Compiegne, he went to Bavaria, at the invitation of Duke Otilo, and within a year or two was made Abbot of St. Peter's at Salzburg. Out of humility, he "concealed his orders", and had a bishop named Dobdagrecus, a fellow countryman, appointed to perform his episcopal functions for him. It was while Abbot of St. Peter's that he came into collision with St. Boniface. A priest having, through ignorance, conferred the Sacrament of Baptism using, in place of the correct formula, the words Baptizo te in nomine patria et filia et spiritu sancta", Vergilius held that the sacrament had been validly conferred. Boniface complained to Pope Zachary. The latter, however, decided in favour of Vergilius. Later on, St. Boniface accused Vergilius of teaching a doctrine in regard to the rotundity of the earth, which was "contrary to the Scriptures". Pope Zachary's decision in this case was that "if it be proved that he held the said doctrine, a council be held, and Vergilius expelled from the Church and deprived of his priestly dignity" (Jaffe, "Biblioth. rerum germ.", III, 191). Unfortunately we no longer possess the treatise in which Vergilius expounded his doctrine. Two things, however, are certain: first, that there was involved the problem of original sin and the universality of redemption; secondly, that Vergilius succeeded in freeing himself from the charge of teaching a doctrine contrary to Scripture. It is likely that Boniface misunderstood him, taking it for granted, perhaps, that if there are antipodes, the "other race of men" are not descendants of Adam and were not redeemed by Christ. Vergilius, no doubt, had little difficulty in showing that his doctrine did not involve consequences of that kind. (See ANTIPODES.)

After the martyrdom of St. Boniface, Vergilius was made Bishop of Salzburg (766 or 767) and laboured successfully for the upbuilding of his diocese as well as for the spread of the Faith in neighbouring heathen countries, especially in Carinthia. He died at Salzburg, 27 November, 789. In 1233 he was canonized by Gregory IX. His doctrine that the earth is a sphere was derived from the teaching of ancient geographers, and his belief in the existence of the antipodes was probably influenced by the accounts which the ancient Irish voyagers gave of their journeys. This, at least, is the opinion of Rettberg ("Kirchengesch. Deutschlands", II, 236).

Sources

Dict. of Christian Biog., s.v. Vergilius; OLDEN in Dict. of National Biography, s.v. Fergil; KRETSCHMER, Die physiche Erdkunde (Vienna, 1889).

Turner, William. "St. Vergilius of Salzburg." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 28 Nov. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15353d.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Thomas M. Barrett. Dedicated to St. Vergilius.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Nov 27 – St Feargal of Salzburg (700-784) monk, missionary, bishop

27 November, 2012

Born in Ireland, Feargal of Virgil (Latin "Virgilius") is said to have been a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages.

St Feargal (Virgilius) of Salzburg – born about 700 in Ireland; died 784 November 27 in Salzburg, was an early astronomer. He  lived first in France and then in Bavaria, where he founded the monastery of Chiemsee. He was appointed bishop of Salzburg around 754

Many Irish monks set out from Ireland as pilgrims for Christ (peregrini pro Christo). They journeyed widely through Europe and some founded important churches. Among them is St Feargal who was a missionary bishop in Salzburg, Austria. Patrick Duffy records some of the traditions about him.

Monk of Aghaboe

Born in Ireland, Feargal of Virgil (Latin “Virgilius”) is said to have been a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages. He become a monk and probably abbot in the monastery of Aghaboe (Annals of the Four Masters and the Annals of Ulster).

On pilgrimage for Christ

In 743 he is said to have left Ireland to go to the Holy Land. He stopped first of all at the court of King Pepin the Short, father of Charlemagne. After spending two years at Cressy, near Compiègne, he went to Bavaria, at the invitation of Duke Odilo, where he founded the monastery of Chiemsee, and within a year or two was made Abbot of St. Peter’s at Salzburg. Out of humility, he at first “concealed his orders”, and had a bishop named Dobdagrecus, a fellow countryman, appointed to perform his episcopal functions for him.

Controversies with St Boniface

In his first days at Salzburg, Feargal was involved in controversies with St. Boniface. A priest through ignorance conferred the Sacrament of Baptism using the words “Baptizo te in nomine patria et filia et spiritu sancta”. Feargal held that the sacrament had been validly conferred, but Boniface complained to Pope Zachary. The Pope decided in favour of Feargal.

An astronomer

Feargal also expressed a number of opinions on astronomy, geography, and anthropology, which to Boniface smacked of novelty, if not heresy. He reported these views to Rome, and the Pope demanded an investigation of the bishop of Salzburg. Feargal was able to defend his views and nothing came of the complaint. He held the view that the earth was round which Boniface said was contrary to Scripture.

Cathedral at Salzburg

Feargal is said to have built a cathedral at Salzburg. St Rupert had built one there before him and the present cathedral has both of them as patrons; it is the site of Mozart’s baptism. Feargal baptized the Slavic dukes of Carinthia, and sent missionaries into Hungary.

Death and canonisation

Returning from a preaching mission to a distant part of his diocese, he fell sick and died on 27th November 784. When the Salzburg cathedral was destroyed by a fire in 1181, the grave of Feargal was discovered and this led to his canonisation by Pope Gregory IX in 1233. His feast is celebrated in Ireland and Austria.

Saint Vergilius of Salzburg

·         Century: 8th Century

·         Patronage:

·         Feast Day: November 27th

St. Vergilius was from a noble family in Ireland, and was educated in the Iona Monastery.  He is said to have been a descendant of “Nail of the Nine Hostages”.  In the “Annals of Four Masters” he is mentioned as Abbot of Aghaboe.  In 745 he left Ireland, to visit the Holy Land, but seemed to have adopted the practice as a work of piety, and settled in France.  After spending two years at Cressy, he went to Bavaria, at the invitation of Duke Odilo.  There he founded the Monastery of Chiemsee, and within a year was made Abbot of St. Peter’s at Salzburg.  Out of humility he “concealed his orders” and had a bishop named Dobdagrecus, a fellow countryman, appointed to perform his Episcopal functions for him. 

While attending as Abbot of St. Peter’s, he came into a collision with St. Boniface.  A Priest, having through ignorance, conferred the Sacrament of Baptism using in place of the correct formula, the word “Absolutus” meaning “Authorized”.  St. Vergilius held that the sacrament had been validly conferred, but St. Boniface complained to Pope Zachary.  The Pope decided in favor of St. Vergilius.  Later on, St. Boniface accused Vergilius of spreading discord between himself and the Duke of Bavaria, and for teaching a doctrine in regard to the “rotundity of the earth”, which was contrary to Scriptures.  Pope Zachary’s decision in this case was that “if it shall be clearly established that he professes belief in another world and other people existing beneath the earth, or in another sun or moon there, thou art to hold a council, and deprive him of his sacerdotal rank, and expel him from the Church”. 

We no longer possess the papers in which St. Vergilius expounded his doctrine, however, two things are certain.  First, that there was involved, the problem of “origianl sin”, and the universality of redemption.  Secondly, St. Vergilius succceeded in freeing himself from the charge of teaching a doctrine contrary to Scripture.  Most likely St. Boniface was already biased against St. Vergilius because of his theory of “original sin”, misunderstanding him, taking it for granted, that if there are antipodes, the “other race of men” are not descendants of Adam were not redeemed by Christ.  This is not was Vergilius taught. 

After the martyrdom of St. Boniface, St. Vergilius was made Bishop of Salzburg in 766.  He labored successfully for the upbuilding of his diocese as well as for the spread of Christianity, especially in neighboring countries like Carinthia.  He died at Salzburg on November 27, 784.  He left a reputation for learning and holiness.  In 1233, he was canonized by Pope Gregory IX.  His doctrine that the earth is a sphere was derived from the teachings of ancient geographers.  His belief in anitpodes was probably influenced by the accounts of those Irish voyagers as they gave count of their journeys. 

Practical Take Away

St. Vergilius was from Ireland, and was a holy man.  He went on to become the Bishop of Salzburg, and did much to spread Christianity, not only in his area, but also in the neighboring country of Carinthia.  He was noted for both his holiness, as well as his learning.  He believed and preached that the earth was a sphere, something that brought a lot of controversy in his time, especially with his colleague, St. Boniface. 

Saint Virgilius of Salzburg

Also known as
  • Fergal
  • Fearghal
  • Ferghil
  • Vergil
  • Virgiel
  • Virgil
  • Apostle of Carinthia
Profile

Benedictine monk. Pilgrim to the Holy Land in 743, and on the way home he stopped in Bavaria – and stayed. Worked with Saint Rupert of Salzburg. Abbot of Saint Peter’s monastery in Salzburg, Austria; one of his monks was Saint Modestus. Bishop of Salzburg in 765, ordained by Duke Odilo. Saint Boniface twice accused him of heresy because of his scientific ideas (including a round earth), but this reflected some friction between the style and people of Roman and Celtic origins, and Virgilius was always cleared of the charges. He rebuilt the cathedral of Salzburg. Sent missionary priests to Carinthia, Austria.

Born

November 27

St. Virgil of Ireland, Bishop of Saltzburg, Confessor

ST. VIRGIL was born in Ireland, and distinguished at home for his learning and virtue. Travelling into France in the reign of King Pepin, he was courteously received by that prince, who kept him two years near his person, till the see of Juvave, since called Saltzburg, falling vacant, he recommended him to that bishopric, and wrote in his favour to Odilo, Duke of Bavaria, his friend and brother-in-law. Virgil trembled at the prospect, and, for two years, commissioned Dobda, a bishop whom he had brought with him from Ireland, to perform the Episcopal functions, reserving to himself only the office of preaching and instructing, till he was compelled by his colleagues to receive the episcopal consecration in 766. He rebuilt magnificently the abbey of St. Peter at Saltzburg, of which he had been himself for some time abbot, and he translated thither the body of St. Rupert founder of that see. This church became afterwards the cathedral. St. Virgil baptized at Saltsburg two successive dukes of Carinthia, Chetmar, and Vetune, and sent thither fourteen preachers under the conduct of Modestus, a bishop who planted the faith in that country. Having settled the affairs of his own church, he made a visitation of that of Carinthia, as far as the borders of the Huns, where the Drave falls into the Danube. Soon after his return home he was taken ill of a slow fever, and, after a fervent preparation, cheerfully departed to our Lord on the 27th of November, 784. Among the many saints who governed the see of Saltzburg, whose lives Canisius has collected, there is none to whom that church and its temporal principality are more indebted than to St. Virgil. See his life in Canisius, Lect. Ant. and in Mabillon, Act. Ben. t. 4. p. 310. Also Ware’s Writers of Ireland; Colgan, &c.

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


ST. VIRGILIUS

Feast: November 27

Virgilius was a scientist before his time, and in his monastery of Aghaboe in Ireland he was known as "the Geometer" because of his knowledge of geography. In 743, he left Ireland for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land but got no farther than the court of Pepin, the father of Charlemagne. In 745, Pepin defeated Odilo, duke of Bavaria, and sent St. Virgilius to be abbot of the monastery of Sankt Peter and in charge of the diocese of Salzburg.

In accordance with the Irish custom, the bishop was subject to the abbot, who was the real head of the diocese. This was contrary to continental custom, and so Virgilius consented to be consecrated bishop. His most notable accomplishment was the conversion of the Alpine Slavs; moreover, he sent missionaries into Hungary.

In his first days at Salzburg, he was involved in controversies with St. Boniface, one over the form of baptism, which the pope decided in Virgilius's favor. Virgilius also expressed a number of opinions on astronomy, geography, and anthropology, which to Boniface smacked of novelty, if not heresy. He reported these views to Rome, and the pope demanded an investigation of the bishop of Salzburg. Nothing came of this and apparently Virgilius was able to defend his views.

Virgilius built a grand cathedral at Salzburg, baptized the Slavic dukes of Carinthia, and sent missionaries into lands where no missionary had yet gone. Returning from a preaching mission to a distant part of his diocese, he fell sick and died on November 27, 784. When the Salzburg cathedral was destroyed by a fire in 1181, the grave of Virgilius was discovered and this led to his canonization by Pope Gregory IX in 1233.

His feast is kept throughout Ireland and in the diocese of Salzburg.

Thought for the Day: St. Virgilius was not content to keep his faith to himself, but like many Irish monks at the time he wanted to share it with others. He looked for a ripe harvest and found it in Germany, where he labored for over forty years. If we look around, we can always find some way to share our faith with others.

From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . We have not been telling you fairy tales when we explained to you the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. My own eyes have seen his splendor and his glory: I was there on the holy mountain when he shone out with honor given him by God his Father, . . . - 2 Peter 1:16-18

Taken from "The One Year Book of Saints" by Rev. Clifford Stevens published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, IN 46750.

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San Virgilio (Vigilio?) di Salisburgo Vescovo


Irlanda, inizio VIII secolo - Salisburgo, 27 novembre 784

Fu monaco ed in seguito divenne abate del monastero Achadh-bo-Cainningh, poi si recò in Gallia a Kiersy. Fu quindi mandato da Pipino il Breve a reggere la diocesi di Baviera, ma non fu consacrato vescovo per ragioni politiche in seguito alla morte di San Bonifacio. A lui si deve la prima organizzazione della diocesi di Salisburgo e l’evangelizzazione delle regioni slave della Carinzia, della Stiria e della Pannonia.

Etimologia: Virgilio = verdeggiante, dal latino

Emblema: Bastone pastorale

Martirologio Romano: A Salisburgo in Baviera, nell’odierna Austria, san Virgilio, vescovo, uomo di grande cultura, che, di origine irlandese, con il favore del re Pipino, fu posto alla guida della Chiesa di Salisburgo, dove costruì la cattedrale in onore di san Ruperto e si prodigò per diffondere la fede tra gli abitanti della Carinzia.

Onorato da vivo e da morto, ma poi dimenticato, questo santo è stato riscoperto nella sua diocesi quasi cinque secoli dopo, e canonizzato. Poi, per altri cinque secoli, rieccolo ancora “precario”, prima di essere infine registrato nel Martirologio romano. Virgilio (Vergilius) è la trasposizione latina di Fergal, il suo nome d’origine nella lingua celtica dell’Irlanda, l’isola,che non è stata mai soggetta all’Impero romano e che è diventata cristiana con la predicazione di san Patrizio (morto nel 461). Qui ha preso vita una Chiesa non strutturata su diocesi e parrocchie, bensì sui monasteri e i loro abati, guide spirituali dei monaci e delle popolazioni. Anche Virgilio percorre questo cammino, monaco e poi abate, legato alle regole che nel monachesimo irlandese sono molto dure; come del resto è dura la vita della gente.

Numerosi monaci d’Irlanda hanno poi continuato l’opera di Patrizio in direzione opposta: dall’Irlanda raggiungevano la Scozia e l’Inghilterra, o sbarcavano in Europa, nelle regioni non ancora stabilmente cristianizzate: in Francia, in Germania e in Italia, dove il monaco Colombano, morto nel 615, fonda il monastero di Bobbio (Piacenza). La tradizione “continentale” dei monaci d’Irlanda continua con l’abate Virgilio. Durante uno dei suoi viaggi-pellegrinaggi in Francia, si ferma a studiare nel monastero di Quierzy-sur-Oise, presso Laon. E in quest’occasione viene presentato al nuovo padrone della Francia: Pipino, detto “il Breve” perché è piccoletto, il quale ha messo fine al potere dei sovrani merovingi.

Pipino ha esteso la sua sovranità anche alla Baviera e a parte dell’Austria, e vuole fare di Virgilio il vescovo di Salisburgo. Lui accetta subito. Anzi, comincia a fare il vescovo ancora prima di essere consacrato. Ma lì sul posto viene subito combattuto come abusivo da chi non gradisce il suo dinamismo e il suo rigore. (Sembra che debba poi correre a Roma per la consacrazione). Lavora a Salisburgo e nelle campagne come in Irlanda, su due priorità: istruzione religiosa e soccorso ai poveri. E usa le sue solite forze di prima linea: i monaci.
Specialmente quelli di Innichen (San Candido, AltoAdige) e del Kremsmünster, in diocesi di Linz. L’efficacia del suo lavoro è documentata dal fatto più convincente: lui, il forestiero accolto con diffidenza, ora è richiesto da tante parti; città e paesi vogliono i suoi missionari. A Salisburgo fa costruire la cattedrale, centro solenne e stabile di una comunità che va facendosi adulta. E quando muore, viene sepolto lì, con grandi onoranze. Onorato e poi dimenticato.

Quattrocento anni circa dopo la morte, un incendio distrugge la cattedrale: e, negli scavi per la ricostruzione, ecco emergere la sua bara. È come se Virgilio fosse appena morto: si diffondono voci di miracoli, si raduna gente in preghiera. La figura del vescovo d’Irlanda riemerge dal silenzio: se ne richiede la canonizzazione. Nel 1230 il processo canonico incomincia, si raccolgono le testimonianze da mandare a Roma. Nel 1233, Gregorio IX proclama santo il vescovo Virgilio. Nel 1740 il suo nome sarà accolto nel Martirologio romano.

Autore: Domenico Agasso