dimanche 15 janvier 2017

Saint CEOLWULF de NORTHUMBRIE, roi et moine bénédictin

Saint Ceolwulf

Roi de Northumbrie puis moine ( v. 765)

Ceolwulph ou Ceolulph
Homme instruit et pieux, roi de Northumbrie de 729 à 737 (à part une courte période entre 731 et 732 où il fut déposé puis reinstallé), peu enclin à l'autorité nécessaire, il abdiqua en 738 et rejoignit le monastère de Lindisfarne. Saint Bède dédia son 'Histoire de l'Eglise' à Ceolwulf le 'roi le plus glorieux'

Ceolwulf, OSB, King, Monk (AC)

(also known as Ceowulf, Ceolwulph)

Died 764 (or perhaps a few years earlier). King Ceolwulf of Northumbria, England, abdicated his throne after reigning for eight years to become a monk at Lindisfarne. Or so some sources would have you believe. Apparently the story is deeper, Ceolwulf ascended the throne of Northumbria in 729 and just two years later he was captured and forcibly tonsured. Later that year he was released and continued his rule.

Somehow God was working even in the evil of civil unrest. In 737 or 738, Ceolwulf did indeed willingly give up civil power in exchange for the grace of the evangelical counsels at Lindisfarne. He was so highly venerated that the Venerable Bede dedicated his Ecclesiastical History to "the Most Glorious King Ceolwulf." Bede praised Ceolwulf's piety but was reserved regarding the king's ability to govern.

At Lindisfarne, which he endowed so generously that the monks could then afford to drink beer or wine (formerly, like many ascetics, they drank only water or milk), Ceolwulf encouraged learning and the monastic lifestyle. Ceolwulf was buried near Saint Cuthbert at the monastery, where miracles were believed to prove his sanctity. The relics of both saints were translated in 830 to Egred's new church at Norham-on- Tweed. Later Ceolwulf's head was transferred to Durham (Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Gill).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0115.shtml

King of Northumbria and monk of Lindisfarne, date and place of birth not known; died at Lindisfarne, 764. His ancestry is thus given by the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle": "Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, Cutha of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Leoldwald, Leoldwald of Egwald, Egwald of Aldhelm, Aldhelm of Ocga, Ocga of Ida, Ida of Eoppa." Harpsfeld says that he succeeded Osred on the throne, but most authorities say that he was adopted as heir by Osric in 729. Learned and pious, he lacked the vigour and authority necessary for a ruler. Bede bears witness to his learning and piety in the introductory chapter of his "Ecclesiastical History". He dedicated this work "to the most glorious King Ceolwulph", sent it to him for his approval, and addresses him thus: "I cannot but commend the sincerity and zeal, with which you not only give ear to hear the words of Holy Scripture, but also industriously take care to become acquainted with the actions and sayings of former men of renown."
His unfitness for his duties as king prompted his subjects to seize him and confine him in a monastery in the second year of his reign. He escaped from this confinement and reascended the throne. During his reign he appointed his cousin Egbert to be Bishop of York, and Bede tells us that the ecclesiastical affairs of his kingdom were presided over by the four bishops, Wilfrid, Ethelwald, Acca, and Pecthelm. After a reign of eight years he wearied of "the splendid cares of royalty", and voluntarily resigned to become a monk at Lindisfarne (738). His cousin Eadbert succeeded him. Ranulphus Cestrensis speaks of his retirement to St. Bede's monastery of Jarrow, but all others agree that it was Lindisfarne. He brought to the monastery many treasures and much land, and after his entrance the monks were first allowed to drink wine and beer, contrary to the tradition handed down from St. Aidan, who only allowed them milk or water. Henry of Huntingdon, when entering into detail with regard to his retirement, says he was principally urged to it by reading the writings of Bede on the lives of former kings who had resigned their thrones to enter the monastic state. He was buried in the cathedral of Lindisfarne next to the tomb of St. Cuthbert, and, according to Malmesbury, many miracles were wrought at his tomb. The body was afterwards transferred to the mainland of Northumberland, probably along with St. Cuthbert's, in order to preserve it from desecration at the time of the Danish invasion. His feast day in the calendar is the 15th of January.


BEDE, Eccles. History (ed. (GILES), I, 334, 335, 340; Acta SS., Jan. 25,I; LINGARD, Hist. of England (London, 1854), I, 71, 72; DIXON AND RAINE'S Fasti Eborac., 94; Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ed. GILES), index; RAINE, Hist. of North Durham, 68.

Hind, George. "Ceolwulf." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 15 Jan. 2017 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03537a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

St. Ceolwulf

King of Northumbria

(c.AD 695-764)

Born: circa AD 695

Died: 15th Janury AD 764 at Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland

Ceolwulf was of the race of King Ida the Burner of Bernicia; but of a younger branch of the family to the mighty house of Aethelric which was in the ascendant at the time of his birth, around AD 695. The House of Ocga only came to the fore when Ceolwulf's brother, Coenred, seized the Northumbrian throne in AD 716. He ruled for only two years, but Celowulf must have enjoyed the short-lived influence which it brought him.

King Osric, the last of the House of Aethelric, then took the Northumbrian crown and ruled for more than ten years. In AD 729, he nominated Ceolwulf as his successor and died shortly afterward. Ceolwulf was a man with deep monastic interests, perhaps little suited to affairs of state. Bede looked to him as his patron and dedicated his "History of the English Church" to him in AD 731. Ceolwulf, meanwhile, was vainly attempting to struggle against the disorder and decay of his country; but that same year, he was ambushed, made captive by, now unknown, enemies and shut up in a monastery. He did still, however, have supporters throughout the country and they were, fortunately, able to secure his escape and subsequent restoration to the throne. Bishop Acca of Hexham was expelled from his See shortly after these events and it seems likely he was a major opponent of Ceolwulf's regime.

Ceolwulf reigned justly on for some eight years, before regrets and an unconquerable desire for that mon-astic life compelled him to abandon his lofty position. He made the best provisions possible for the security of his country and for a good understanding between the spiritual and temporal authorities, nominating, as his successor, his worthy cousin, Prince Edbert. Then, giving up the cares of powers, he resigned. He cut his long beard, had his head shaved in the form of a crown and retired to bury himself anew on the holy island of Lindisfarne, in the monastery beaten by the winds and waves of the North Sea. There, he passed the last twenty or so years of his life in study and happiness. He had, while King, enriched this monastery with many great gifts, and obtained permission for the use of wine and beer for the monks, who, up to that time, according to the rigid rule of ancient Celtic discipline, had been allowed no beverage but water and milk.

He died on 15th January AD 764 and was buried next to St. Cuthbert in Lindisfarne Priory. Miracles attested his sanctity and his holy body followed St. Cuthbert's to the newly built church at Norham-upon-Tweed, in AD 830. Here he remained, a major pilgrimage attraction until the Reformation, though his head was translated to Durham Cathedral.

Partly Edited from S. Baring-Gould's "The Lives of the Saints" (1877).

San Ceolwulf Re di Northumbria

† Lindisfarne, Inghilterra, 760/764

Osric, figlio di Cuthe, re di Northumbria, alla sua morte designò a succedergli il fratello Ceolwulf che, pro­babilmente, durante il suo regno aveva vissuto in un monastero senza tentare di insidiargli il trono. Il nuovo re favorì lo sviluppo della Chiesa, sceglien­do buoni prelati per le nuove diocesi e dando egli stesso esempio di vita cristianamente fervorosa. Si­meone di Durham fissa al 729 la data della sua in­coronazione che, invece, dal Saxon Chronicle è po­sta al 731 : in quest'anno, però, secondo il conti­nuatore di Beda, si ebbe un'insurrezione e il re, de­posto, fu costretto a subire la tonsura. Liberato, Ceolwulf dopo qualche tempo abdicò spontaneamente e si fe­ce monaco a Lindisfarne (737), dove morì pieno di meriti nel 760 (secondo Fiorenzo di Worchester) o nel 764 (secondo Simeone di Durham). Il suo corpo dopo qualche tempo fu traslato a Norham a cura del vescovo Ecgred, a eccezione del cranio che fu portato a Durham nella chiesa di S. Cutberto; la sua festa si celebra il 15 genn.

A quanto sembra, Ceolwulf ebbe una buona cultura scritturistica : è a lui (gloriosissimo regi Ceoluulfo) che Beda dedicò la sua Historia Ecclesiastica, rite­nendo che la storia dovesse essere maestra di vita, specie per un re.

Autore: Giovanni Battista Proja