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St., Maurice, Moses, Pope, Gelasius I, Victor, Miltiades, Bishops

Pope Miltiades I
Pope Victor I

May it evoke euphoria or even nostalgia for the good old days by the starved multitudes of modern day adherents of Christianity?

 

Yet Saints are an intriguing group of men, women and children of all races (powerful, powerless, inept, articulate and disabled) who through their dedication, suffered, and in many instances gave their lives in exchange for the perpetuation of a doctrine. While, the worship of saints is a concept of ancestral worship that has always been an integral part of African culture. St. Maurice was a celebrated personality in Europe since the Third Century of the Christian era. He was born a Theban (Nubian) in Upper Egypt or Sudan. Even though Christianity was flourishing in this region, it was under the control of the Roman Empire as other lands in the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea. St.

 

St Maurice
St Moses the Black

Maurice was the leader of the Roman legion of the district. In autumn of 285 C.E., Emperor Maximilian sent a large army to Switzerland to oppose a rebellion in the south of Galla.

 

These forces included the Theban Legion. St. Maurice was assigned to Agaunium, 20 Kilometers from the Genfer Lakes. At a large field service before the battle, the soldiers were required to worship icons of pagan gods that included a statue of the emperor. The entire legion refused. This was considered an act of rebellion and blasphemy. They were charged with high treason and mutiny before the enemy. The result was the beheading of Maurice and his companions. From then, Christians cherished and adored Maurice as a martyr. Within a century of his passing, he was beatified and a church was constructed over his tomb.

 

The Swiss national flag bears a white cross in his honour. Over the ages the cult of Maurice spread over Germany where he became the official Saint Knight of the Emperors and Bishops who sought his miracles and blessings. Coins and Coats of Arms for many districts and cities in Germany were made in his honour. He is still worshipped in Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Britain, Germany & the former states of Yugoslavia, where his iconography decorates churches and shrines. His feast days are: February 25th, June 3rd, September 11th, 22nd, & 28th, October 11th, 16th & 19th. Top left St. Maurice and below Pope Gelasius I

Pope Gelasius I

Pope St. Victor I (reigned 189-199 A.D.) worked to settle a dispute among the bishops of the East and West over when to celebrate Easter – known as the Quartodeciman controversy.

 

The other bishops recognized his unique authority when they followed his directive to convene local and regional synods to deliberate on the issue. Most of the bishops decided to adopt his proposal that the whole Church celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after Passover.

 

Those who didn’t, he threatened with excommunication. The fact that no bishop in the world — not a single one disputed his authority as bishop of Rome to carry out such an excommunication is a powerful piece of evidence that the early Church recognized the unique authority of the bishop of Rome.

 

It needs to be noted that some historians puts the start of the reign of Pope St. Victor with the first year of Septimius Severus (one of the African Emperor of Rome).

 

So at one point in time the two most powerful men in the world, one who controlled the known Western world from present day Britain to present day Iran and the other who was a later of large religious sect were black men. That's not black excellence, that's black dominance. Also Pope St. Victor decided on when Easter would be celebrated.

 

Pope St. Miltiades, Constantine presented this pope with the Lateran Palace, which became the papal residence and seat of Christian governance. Early in 313 A.D., Constantine and fellow Emperor Licinius reached an agreement at Milan that they would grant freedom of religion to the Christians and other religions and restore church property.

 

Pope Gelasius I. Was known was a prolific writer whose style placed him on the cusp between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Age. He was the first pope to be called the Vicar of Christ, he proposed that spiritual and temporal powers are separate trusts from God.

 

St. MOSES THE BLACK (330 -405 A.D.) A feared Ethiopian who became a hermit. He refused to defend himself against a band of Arabs and was murdered along with six other monks. For anyone that thinks that Moses the Black (aka the Ethiopian, Robber, Strong) is some mere lightweight that is lifted up by the Orthodox Church simply to help convert African-Americans, think again.

 

John Cassian ( aka the Roman) traveled to the deserts of Egypt in the early third century and spent time listening to this very dark skinned priest-monk. No doubt, Moses and other African monks that he met and learned from, influenced John Cassian to bring Christian monasticism to southern France and write books that were very influential in Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and old school Anglican circles.

 

Stories of this former slave and gang leader who repented of his former life and became full of holy wisdom were circulated throughout the early Christian world. In Eastern Orthodox Churches of any jurisdiction as well as Coptic and Ethiopian Churches of North-East Africa, it is not uncommon to find icons of this revered desert dweller. St. Moses the Black was no lightweight by any means!

St., Augustine, Monica, Christian, Saints, Tagaste, Church

St monica
St Augustine

St. AUGUSTINE (Born Nov. 13, 354 A.D., And Died August 28, 430 A.D.) Born in North Africa. His mother, Saint Monica, was tried by his early years which he spent in vice.

 

He later became a professor of rhetoric. He worked in Tagaste, Carthage, Rome and Milan. St. Ambrose baptized him at age 32, the same year his mother died. For many years he lived a monastic life with a few associates near Tagaste.

 

He was ordained a priest at Hippo and within three years, became the bishop of the city. From then on he dedicated all his intellectual ability to being a defender of the faith. Monks, nuns, priests, canons, friars and hermits follow his ideas to this day. He is one of the most prolific thinkers and certainly one of the most influential. His writings are considered classics and it is well known that he influenced individuals like Luther who went on to form his own sect in Augsburg, Germany. In life, Augustine can be described as a rebellious youth who went on to be a scholar and thence to be one of the most revered saints. His relics are enshrined in many Christian centres throughout the world.

 

St. Augustine is among the four eminent Fathers of the Church and he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace. Before finding God, as a youth Augustine lived a hedony nistic lifestyle for a time, associating with young men who boasted of their bisexual exploits.

 

The need to gain their acceptance forced inexperienced boys like Augustine to seek or make up stories about sexual experiences. As a result, St. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, printers, and theologians. Augustine was also a major influence on the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Augustine was the son of St. Monica, who was born in Tagaste (present-day Souk Ahras, Algeria). She is believed to have been a Berber on the basis of her name. St. Augustine, Florida, (the oldest city in America,) is named after St. Augustine.

 

St. Monica, St., Felix the Moor, Prayer, God

 

St Monica. Today is the feast of one woman without whose prayers the Church would certainly be impoverished.

 

St. Monica was born in 332 in North Africa of Berber origin and when of age married a Roman pagan named Patricius.

 

No doubt this was deemed advantageous by her parents and his.

 

Herself a devout Christian, she prayed for his conversion unceasingly, even though there were times when he treated her badly.

 

Through perseverance and storming heaven with prayers for many years, she was blessed by God with Patricius’ conversion and baptism not long before he died.

 

But that wasn’t the end of her troubles.

 

God blessed St. Monica and Patricius with several children, among whom was a son both brilliant and rebellious.

 

St. Augustine fell into the Manichean heresy and took up with a woman in Carthage he did not marry, having a son by her.

 

To get away from his mother’s pleading he fled across the Mediterranean Sea and into Italy, finally

stopping in Milan where he taught rhetoric and other classical subjects.

 

But St. Monica followed him to Milan and there visited the great St. Ambrose, pleading with him to set her son straight.

 

ST. FELIX THE MOOR Died 303 A.D.

 

Felix was soldier who was beheaded along with his companion for their confession of faith.

 

Felix died in 303 AD. Felix was a Bishop of Thibiuca in Africa.

 

He refused to surrender his books to the local magistrate and was sent to the pro consul of Carthage.

 

He persisted in his refusal and was beheaded. Saint Felix was born at Nola, in Campania, of a Syrian father, whose name was Hermias, and who coming from the East settled at

 

Nola, and there begat a son Felix, to whom he left a rich worldly inheritance, to which however he himself preferred the gift of heritage promised us in heaven.

 

He had a brother named Hermias after his father, to take part in the family patrimony, but he had adopted a line of life repugnant to the character of Felix, and became unworthy of eternal happiness.

 

For he studied only worldly goods, and preferred to become a soldier of Caesar rather than of Christ.

 

Whereas, on the contrary, Felix (the Happy), following up the mystery of his name by his actions, devoted himself to the service of God from his boyhood,

 

and showing forth fresh virtues every day, first undertook the duties of reader in the Church; and afterwards becoming exorcist, began to cast out unclean spirits from those who were possessed.

 

In this capacity his merits shone more and more, and speedily elevated him to the rank of priest.

 

His memorial day is May 8 in the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.