Friday, December 4, 2009

St Peter Chrysologus

To-day also marks the feast - in the traditional Calendar - of Peter of Golden Eloquence (406-450), sometime Archbishop of Ravenna. I am fond of him by reason of the example of his devotion to his patron saint, St Cassian of Imola, Peter's native town's great martyr, to whose shrine he returned when at death's dark door, to commend his soul to God by his intercession.

Apparently, until 1729 to-day was St Barbara's day, but then, when Peter was declared a Doctor of the Church, his feast was brought in throughout the whole orb of the world and trumped the Martyress. The Collect of St Peter Chrysologus, B. C. D. (Bishop - Confessor - Doctor), is somewhat odd, in that Doctorem is repeated twice, and the second half is a straight quotation from the Common Collect for Doctors: is this a cut-and-paste pastiche? See how it reads:

Deus, qui beatum Petrum Chrysologum Doctorem egregium, divinitus præmonstratum, ad regendam et instruendam Ecclesiam tuam eligi voluisti: præsta, quæsumus, ut, quem Doctorem vitæ habuimus in terris, intercessorem habere mereamur in cælis. Per...

God, Who didst will the excellent Doctor blessed Peter Chrysologus, divinely foreshown*, to be chosen for to rule and instruct Thy Church: grant, we beg, that he whom we have as a Doctor of life on earth, we may deserve to have as intercessor in heaven. Through...
[* The Apostle St Peter appeared to Pope Sixtus III,
advising him to select Chrysologus as Archbishop.]

Remember this great Archbishop's rebuke to those who wilfully played games, diced and laughed rather than come to hear God's word preached: "Who shall have joked with the devil, shall not be able to rejoice with Christ" (Qui jocari voluerit cum diabolo, non poterit gaudere cum Christo).