Peter Chrysologus

Peter Chrysologus (Greek: Ἅγιος Πέτρος ὁ Χρυσολόγος, Petros Chrysologos meaning Peter the "golden-worded") (c. 380 – c. 450)[2] was Bishop of Ravenna from about 433 until his death.[3] He is known as the “Doctor of Homilies” for the concise but theologically rich reflections he delivered during his time as the Bishop of Ravenna.

He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church; he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729.

Saint Peter Chrysologus
Pedro crisologo01
Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church
Bornc. 380
Imola, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, North-Central Italy
Died31 July 450
Imola, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna region, North-Central Italy
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church
CanonizedPre-Congregation
Feast30 July
4 December (General Roman Calendar 1729-1969)[1]

Life

Peter was born in Imola, where Cornelius, bishop of Catholic Diocese of Imola, baptized him, educated him, and ordained him a deacon. He was made an archdeacon through the influence of Emperor Valentinian III. Pope Sixtus III appointed Peter as Bishop of Ravenna circa 433, apparently rejecting the candidate whom the people of the city of Ravenna elected. At that time Ravenna was the capital of the West,[4] and there are indications that Ravenna held the rank of metropolitan before this time.[5]

The traditional account, as recorded in the Roman Breviary, is that Sixtus had a vision of Pope Saint Peter the Apostle and Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna, the first bishop of that see, who showed Peter, a young man, the next Bishop of Ravenna. When a group from Ravenna arrived, including Cornelius and his archdeacon Peter from Imola, Sixtus recognized Peter as the young man in his vision and consecrated him as a bishop.[6][7]

Saint Peter Chrysologus
Saint Peter Chrysologus, Diocesan Museum, Imola

People knew Saint Peter Chrysologus, the Doctor of Homilies, for his very simple and short but inspired sermons, for he was afraid of fatiguing the attention of his hearers.[7] His piety and zeal won universal admiration. After hearing oratory of his first homily as bishop, Roman Empress Galla Placidia supposedly gave him the surname Chrysologus, meaning "golden-worded." His sermons are historically significant in that they reveal Christian life in fifth-century Ravenna.[4] The Emperor's mother, Galla Placidia, patronized many projects of Bishop Peter.[8]

In his extant homilies, Bishop Peter explained Biblical texts briefly and concisely. He also condemned Arianism and Monophysitism as heresies and explained the Apostles' Creed, the mystery of the Incarnation, and other topics in simple and clear language. He dedicated a series of homilies to Saint John the Baptist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Peter advocated daily reception of Eucharist. He urged his listeners to confide in the forgiveness offered through Christ.[9][10][11] His surviving works attest to the Church's traditional beliefs about Mary's perpetual virginity, the penitential value of Lent, Christ's Eucharistic presence, and the primacy of St. Peter and his successors. He shared the confidence of Saint Pope Leo I the Great (440-461), another doctor of the Church.

A synod held in Constantinople in 448 condemned Eutyches for Monophysitism; Eutyches then appealed to Peter Chrysologus but failed in his endeavour to win the support of the Bishop. The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon (451) preserves the text of letter of Saint Peter Chrysologus in response to Eutyches; Peter admonishes Eutyches to accept the ruling of the synod and to give obedience to the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Saint Peter.

Archbishop Felix of Ravenna in the early eighth century collected and preserved 176 of his homilies.[8] Various authors edited and translated these works into numerous languages.

Death and veneration

St Peter died circa or after 450 during a visit to Imola, the town of his birth. Older reference books say he died on 2 December, but a more recent interpretation of the ninth-century "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis" indicated that he died on 31 July.[1]

When in 1729 he was declared a Doctor of the Church, his feast day, not already included in the Tridentine Calendar, was inserted in the General Roman Calendar for celebration on 4 December. In 1969 his feast was moved to 30 July, as close as possible to the day of his death, 31 July, the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

A contemporary portrait of Saint Peter Chrysologus, found in the mosaics of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ravenna, depicts him among the members of the eastern and western imperial family, showing his extraordinary influence.

References

  1. ^ a b "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 98
  2. ^ The Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. III, pp. 1562.
  3. ^ Michael Walsh, ed. "Butler's Lives of the Saints," New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.
  4. ^ a b Foley OFM, Leonard. "St. Peter Chrysologus", Saint of the Day, (revised by Pat McCloskey OFM), Franciscan Media
  5. ^ Smith, Ignatius. "St. Peter Chrysologus." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 17 March 2015
  6. ^ "December 4". Roman Breviary. Confraternity of Sts. Peter and Paul. Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  7. ^ a b Fr. Paolo O. Pirlo, SHMI (1997). "St. Peter Chrysologus". My First Book of Saints. Sons of Holy Mary Immaculate - Quality Catholic Publications. p. 163. ISBN 971-91595-4-5.
  8. ^ a b "St. Peter Chrysologus", Catholic News Agency
  9. ^ Sermon 58, On the Creed, par. 13
  10. ^ Sermon 30, on Matthew 9:9ff, par. 5
  11. ^ Sermon 168 par. 3

Bibliography

  • Otto Bardenhewer, Patrology, tr. Shanan, pp. 526 ff.
  • Dapper, Der hl. Petrus von Ravenna Chrysologus, Posen, 1871
  • Looshorn, Der hl. Petrus Chrysologus und seine Schriflen in Zeitschrift f. kathol. Theol., III, 1879, pp. 238 ff.
  • Wayman, Zu Petrus Chrysologus in Philologus, LV (1896), pp. 464 ff.
  • San Pietro Crisologo, Sermoni, two volumes, Città Nuova, Roma 1997

External links

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The Archbishop's Chapel (or Archiepiscopal Chapel) is a chapel on the first floor of the bishops' palace in Ravenna, Italy, the smallest of the famous mosaic sites of the city. It is a private oratory of Trinitarian bishops dating from the turn of the 6th century. Although commonly attributed to St. Peter Chrysologus, Archbishop of Ravenna from 433–450, the chapel was actually built by Peter II shortly after he became archbishop in 495. The mosaics date from the original construction, or soon after.

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He was consecrated by Pope Constantine, but soon afterwards asserted his independence from Rome. When Ravenna was captured by the forces of Justinian II, Felix was taken to Constantinople, tried and blinded, and sent into exile. Justinian was deposed in 711, and Felix returned from Pontus to Ravenna.He collected 176 sermons of his predecessor Peter Chrysologus.

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Virgin Mary
Apostles
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Doctors
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See also

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