« PreviousContinue »
with Cæfarius Bishop of Arles, and afterwards took to an Part II. hermitical life, till he was made Abbot of an abbey at Nismes, which the king, who had found him in his cell by chance as he was hunting, and was pleased with his sanctity, built for his fake. He died in the year 795.
§. 2. Eunurchus, otherwise called Evortius, was Bishop 7. Eunur. of Orleans in France, being present at the council of Va-chus, Bilentia, A. D. 375. The circumstances of his election to
Thop of Or. this fee were very strange. Being sent by the church of Rome into France, about redeeming fome captives, at the time when the people of Orleans were in the heat of an election of a Bilhop; a Dove lighted upon his head, which he could 1 not, without great difficulty, drive away. The people observing this, took it for a sign of his great fanctity, and inimediately thought of choosing him Bishop: but not being willing to proceed to election, till they were assured that the lighting of the Dove was by the immediate direction of Providence, they prayed to God that, if he in his goodness designed him for their Bishop, the fame Dove might light upon him again, which immediately happening after their prayers, he was chosen Bishop by the unanimous suffrages of the whole city. Besides this, several other niracles are attributed to him ; as the quenching a fire in the city by his prayers; his directing
of the foundation of a church, in such a place, where the workmen found a pot of gold, almost sufficient to defray the charges of the building : his converting seven thousand infidels to Christianity within the space of three days, and lastly, for foretelling his own death, and in a sort of prophetical manner naming Arianus for his fucceffor. 1:09. 3. The eighth of this month is dedicated to the nie- 8. Nativity of the bleled Virgin's Nativity, a consort of angels of the bles.'
sed Virgin having been heard in the air to folemnize that day as her
Mary. birth-day, Upon which account the day itself was not only kept holy in after-ages; but it was also honoured by Pope Innocent IV. with an octave, A. D. 1244, and by, Gregory XI. with a vigil in the year 1370.
$. 4. The fourteenth of this nionth is called Holy-cross 14. Holyday, a festival deriving its beginning about the year 615, cross-day. on this occasion: Cofroes King of Persia having plundered Jerusalem, (after having made great ravages in other parts of the christian world,) took away from thence a great piece of the cross, which Helena had left there : and, at the times of his mirth, made sport with that and the holy Trinity. Heraclius the Emperor giving him battle, de
Chap. 1. feated the enemy, and recovered the cross : but bringing
it back with triumph to Jerusalem, he found the gates fhut against him, and heard a voice from heaven, which told him, that the King of kings did not enter into that city in so stately a manner, but meek and lowly, und riding upon an ass. With that the Emperor dismounted from his horfe, and went into the city not only afoot, but barefooted, and carrying the wood of the cross himfelf. Which honour done to the cross gave rise to this
festival. 13. Lam
$. 5. Lambert was Bishop of Utrecht in the time of bert, Bishop King Pepin I. But reproving the King's grandson for his and Martyr. lewd amours, he was, by the contrivance of one of his
concubines, barbarously murdered. Being canonized, he at first only obtained a commemoration in the calendar; till Robert Bishop of Leeds in a general chapter of the Ciftercian order procured a folemn feast to his honour,
A.D. 1240: 26. Saint
$. 6. St. Cyprian was by birth an African, of a good Cyprian, family and education. Before his conversion he taught Bishop of rhetoric ; but by the perfuafion of one Cæcilius, a Priest, and Már: (from whom he had his surname,) he became a christian. tyr.
And giving all his substance to the poor, he was elected Bishop of Carthage in the year 248. "He behaved himself with great prudence in the Decian persecution, perfuading the people to constancy and perseverance; which fo enraged the heathen, that they made proclamation for his discovery in the open theatre. He suffered martyrdom September 14, A. D. 258, under Valerianus and Gallienus, having foretold that storm long before, and difpofed
his flock to bear it accordingly. The Cypri- But the Cyprian in the Roman calendar celebrated on an in the this day, as appears by the Roman Breviary, is not the Roman ca- fame with St. Cyprian of Carthage, but another Cyprian
of Antioch, who of a conjurer was made a christian, and person. afterwards a deacon and a martyr. He happened to be in love with one Justina, a beautiful young
christian; whom trying, without success, to debauch, he consulted the devil upon the matter, who frankly declared he had no power over good christians. Cyprian, not pleased with this answer of the devil, quitted his service, and turned christian. But as soon as it was known, both he and Juftina were accused before the heathen Governor, who condemned them to be fried in a frying-pan with pitch and fat, in order to force them to renounce their religion, which they notwithstanding with constancy perfifted in.
lendar a different
After their tortures they were beheaded, and their bodies Part II. thrown away unburied, till a kind mariner took them up, and conveyed them to Rome, where they were depofited in the church of Constantine. They were martyred in the year 272,
8:7. St. Jerom was the fon of one Eusebius, born in a 30. St. Jetown called Stridon, in the confines of Pannonia and Dal-rom, Prieft, matia. Being a lad of pregnant parts, he was sent to and Doctor. Rome to learn rhetoric under Donatus and Victorinus, two famous Latin critics. There he got to be secretary to Pope Damascus, and was afterwards baptized. He studied divinity with the principal divines of that age, viz. Gregory Nazianzen, Epiphanius, and Didymus. And to perfect his qualifications this way, he learned the Hebrew tongue from one Barraban a Jew. He spent most of his time in a monastery at Bethlehem, in great retirement and hard study; where he translated the Bible. He died in the year 422, being fourscore years old.
Sect. X. Of the Romijn Saints-days and Holy-days
in October. EM
, he self so close to his studies, that he was supposed to Remigius, have led a monastic life. After the death of Bennadius,
Rhemes. he was chosen Bishop of Rhemes, for his extraordinary learning and piety. He converted to christianity King Clodoveus, and good part of his kingdom ; for which reason he is by fome esteemed the apostle of France. After he had held his bishopric feventy-four years, he died at ninety-fix years of age, A. D. 535. The cruise which he made use of is preserved in France to this day, their kings being usually anointed out of it at their coronation.
§. 2. Faith, a young woman so called, was born at Pais 5. Faith, de Gavre in France. She fuffered martyrdom and very Virgin and cruel torments under the presidentship of Dacianus, about
year 290. $. 3. St. Denys, or Dionysus the Areopagite, was con- 9. St. Denye verted to christianity by St. Paul, as is recorded in the fe- Areop Biventeenth of the Acts. He was at first one of the judges Martyr. of the famous court of the Areopagus, but was afterwards made Bishop of Athens, where he suffered martyrdom for the sake of the Gospel. There are several books which bear his name ; but they seem all of them to have been the product of the fixth century. He is claimed by the French as their tutelar faint, by reason that, as they say,
Chap. I. he was the first that preached the Gospel to them. But it
iş plain that christianity was not preached in that nation till long after St. Dionyfius's death. Among several foolish and incoherent stories, which they relate of him, this is one: that, after several grievous torments undergone, he was beheaded by Fefcennius the Roman Governor at Paris; at which time he took up his head, after it was severed from his body, and walked, two miles with it in. his hands, to a place called the Martyrs-hill, and there laid down to rest.
S. 4. The thirteenth of this month is dedicated to the King Ed- memory of King Edward the Confeffor's Translation. He
, was the youngest son of King Ethelred; but, all his elder Confeffor. brothers being dead, or fled away, he came to the crown,
of England in the year 1042. His principal excellency was his gathering together a body of all the most useful laws, which had been made by the Saxon and Danish kings. The name of Confeffor is supposed to have been given him by the Pope, for settling what was then called Rome-Scot; but is now better known by the name of Peter-Pence. The monks have attributed so many miracles to him, that even his vestments are by them reputed holy. His crown, chair, staff, fpurs, &c, are still made use of in the coronation of our English Kings.
$. 5. Etheldred was daughter of Anna, a King of the dred, Vir- East-Angles, who was first married to one Tonbert, a great gin.
Lord in Lincolnshire, &c. and after him to King Egfrid about the year 671. with both which husbands the ftill continued a Virgin, upon pretence of great sanctity, . And staying at court twelve years, and continuing this inorosenels, she got leave to depart to Coldingham Abbey, where she was a Nun under Ebba, the daughter of King Ethelfrida, who was Abbess. Afterward the built an abbey at: Ely, which she was Abbefs of herself, and there died and was buried, being recorded to posterity by the name of
St. Audry. 25. Crispin, $.6. Crispinus and Crispianus were brethren, and born Martyr.
at Rome: from whence they travelled to Soissons in France, about the year 303, in order to propagate the christian religion. But because they would not be chargeable to others for their maintenance, they exercised the trade of Shoemakers. But the Governor of the town discovering them to be christians, ordered them to be beheaded about the year 303. From which time the Shoemakers.made choice of them for their tutelar saints.
Part II. Sect. XI. Of the Romish Saints-days and Holy-days
in November. The second of this month is called All-Souls day, Nov. 2. being observed in the church of Rome upon this oc- All Souls casion. A monk having visited Jerusalen, and passing day. through Sicily as he returned home, had a mind to fee mount Ætna, which is continually belching out fire and smoke, and upon that account by some thought to be the mouth of hell. Being there, he heard the devils within complain, that many departed souls were taken out of their hands by the prayers of the Cluniac monks. This, when he came home, he related to his Abbot Odilo, as a true story; who thereupon appointed the second of November to be annually kept in his monastery, and prayers to be made there for all departed fouls: and in a little time afterwards the monks got it to be made a general holy-day by the appointment of the Pope; till in ours and other reformed churches it was defervedly abrogated.
§. 2. Leonard- was born at Le Nans, a town in France, 6. Leonard, bred up in divinity under Remigius Bishop of Rhemes, Confeffor. and afterwards made Bishop of Limosin. He obtained of King Clodoveus a favour, that all prisoners whom he went to fee should be set free. And therefore whenever he heard of any persons being prisoners for the sake of religion, or any other good cause, he presently procured their liberty this way. But the monks have improved this story, telling us, that if any one in prison had called upon his name, his fetters would immediately drop off, and the prison doors fly open : infomuch that many came from far countries, brought their fetters and chains, which had fallen off by his intercession, and presented them before him in token of gratitude. He died in the year 500, and has always been implored by prisoners as their faint. §. 3. St. Martin's account has already been given on 11. St. Mar
and Con§. 4. Britius, or St. Brice, was successor to St. Martin fetfor. in the bishopric of Tours. About the year 432, a great 13. Britius, trouble befel him: for his laundress proving with child, Bishop. the uncharitable people of the town fathered it upon Brice. After the child was born, the censures of the people increased, who were then ready to stone their Bishop. But the Bishop having ordered the infant to be brought to him, adjured him by Jesus the Son of the living God, to tell him whose child he was. The child being then