St. Leo IX., Pope, C.
From the councils, and his life written with great accuracy by Wibert his archdeacon, at Toul, published by F. Sirmond at Paris, in 1615, by Henschenius, 19 Apr. Mabillon, Act. Ben. t. 9, et Muratori script Ital. t. 3, p. 278, ad p. 299: another life by the cardinal of Aragon, who flourished in 1356, apud Muratori, ib. p. 276. Also from a history of his death by an anonymous contemporary writer, ib., and from the history of the dedication of the church of St. Remigius at Rheims, by Anselm, a monk of that house, entitled, Itinerarium Leonis IX. in Mabillon. t. 8. See Hist. Littér. Fr. t. 7, p. 458; Mabillon, Annal. l. 59, n. 61, 62; Calmet, Hist. de Lorr. t. 4, p. 176.
A. D. 1054.
This great pope received in baptism the name of Bruno. He was born in Alsace, in 1002, with his body marked all over with little red crosses: which was attributed to the intense meditation of his pious mother on the passion of Christ.* He was of the illustrious house of Dapsbourgh, or Asbourgh, in that province, being the son of Hugh, cousin-german to the mother of the pious emperor Conrad the Salic. He had his education under Berthold, the virtuous and learned bishop of Toul; and, after his first studies, was made a canon in that cathedral.1 His time was principally divided betwixt prayer, pious reading, and his studies: and the hours of recreation he employed in visiting the hospitals and instructing the poor When he was deacon, he was called to the court of the emperor Conrad, and was much honored by that prince. The young clergyman displayed an extraordinary talent for business; but never omitted his long exercises of devotion, or his usual fasts and other austere mortifications. In 1026, he was chosen bishop of Toul. The emperor endeavored to persuade him to defer his consecration till the year following: but the saint hastened to the care of the church, of which he was to give an account to God, and was consecrated by his metropolitan, the archbishop of Triers; but refused to take an unjust and dangerous oath which he exacted of his suffragans, that they would do nothing but by his advice. Bruno began to discharge his pastoral office by the reformation of the clergy and monks, whom he considered as the most illustrious portion of the flock of Christ, and the salt of the earth. By his care the monastic discipline and spirit were revived in the great monasteries of Senones, Jointures, Estival, Bodonminster, Middle-Moutier, and St. Mansu, or Mansuet. He reformed the manner of celebrating the divine office, and performing the church music, in which he took great delight. A soul that truly loves God, makes the divine praises the comfort of her present exile. The saint was indefatigable in his labors to advance the service of God and the salvation of souls. Amidst his great actions, it was most admirable to see how little he was in his own eyes. He every day served and washed the feet of several poor persons. His life was an uninterrupted severe course of penance, by the practice of secre austerities, and a constant spirit of compunction. Patience and meekness were the arms by which he triumphed over envy and resentment, when many strove to bring him into disgrace with the emperor and others. On of devotion to St. Peter, he visited once a year the tombs of the apostles at Rome. After the death of pope Damasus II., in 1048, in a diet of prelates and noblemen, with legates and deputies of the church of Rome, held at Worms, and honored with the presence of the pious emperor, Henry III., surnamed the Black, Bruno, who had then governed the see of Toul twenty two years, was pitched upon as the most worthy person to be exalted to the papacy. He being present, used all his endeavors to avert the storm from falling on his head; and at length begged three days to deliberate upon the matter. This term he spent in tears and prayers, and in so rigorous a fast, that he neither ate nor drank during all that time. The term being expired, he returned to the assembly, and, hoping to convince his electors of his unworthiness, made a public general confession before them of the sins of his whole life, with abundance of tears, which drew also tears from all that were present: yet no man changed his opinion. He yielded at last only on condition that the whole clergy and people of Rome should agree to his promotion. After this declaration, he returned to Toul, and soon after Easter set out for Rome in the habit of a pilgrim; and alighting from his horse, some miles before he arrived at the city, walked to it, and entered it barefoot. He was received with universal acclamations, and his election ratified. He took possession of the see on the 12th of February, 1049, under the name of Leo IX., being about forty-seven years old. He held it only five years, but they were filled with good works. He labored strenuously in extirpating simony, and the incestuous marriages which many noblemen had presumed to contract. In a journey which he made into Germany, he signalized all his steps with religious actions, held a council to Rheims, and consecrated the new church of St. Remigius, belonging to the abbey, in 1049: and returned from Mentz, by mount Vosge and Ricbenow, to Rome. In 1050, in a council at Rome,2 he condemned the new heresy of Berengarius, archdeacon of Angers, a man full of self-conceit and a lover of novelty, who preached against the mystery of transubstantiation in the holy eucharist.*
St Leo held another council at Vercelli the same year, composed of prelates from several countries, who unanimously confirmed the censure passed at Rome on Berengarius and his tenets, and condemned a book of John Scotus Erigena to be cast into the fire.3 In 1051 the pope made a second visit to his ancient see of Toul, and favored the abbey of St. Mansu with great presents and exemptions. In 1052 he went again into Germany to reconcile the emperor Henry III. and Andrew, king of Hungary. In 1053 Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, began to renew the schism of the Greek church, which had been formerly commenced by Photius, but again healed. Cerularius and Leo, bishop of Acrida, wrote a joint letter to John bishop of Trani, in Apulia, in which they objected to the Latins, that they celebrated the holy eucharist in unleavened bread, fasted on the Saturdays in Lent, refrained not from eating blood, omitted to sing halleluia in Lent, and other such like points of discipline.4 Malice must be to the last degree extravagant, which could pretend to ground a schism upon such exceptions. St. Leo answered him by an exhortation to peace, alleging for these practices of discipline the ancient law and tradition from St. Peter, especially for the use of unleavened bread in the holy eucharist. He sent cardinal Humbert, his legate, to Constantinople, to vindicate the Latin church against the exceptions of the Greeks, and preserve them in union with the Latins. He composed a learned and ample apology for this purpose;5 but was not able to overcome the obstinacy of Cerularius, whose artifices drew the greater part of the Oriental churches into his schism By his factious spirit he also embroiled the state: for which Isaac Comnenus himself, whom he had raised to the throne the year before, was preparing to chastise him, when his death prevented his punishment, in. 1058.6
The Normans, in the eleventh century, expelled the Saracens and Greeks out of the kingdom of Naples, but became themselves troublesome and enterprising neighbors to the holy see. Pope Leo implored against them the succors of the emperor Henry III., to whom he made over Fuld, Bamberg, and other lands, which the popes then possessed in Germany, receiving in exchange Benevento and its territory in Italy. With these succors his Holiness hoped to check the Normans, but his army was defeated by them, and himself taken prisoner in a certain village, and detained near a year, though always treated with great honor and respect. He spent his time in fasting and prayer, wore a hair-cloth next his skin, lay on a mat on the floor with a stone for his pillow, slept little, and gave large alms. Falling sick, he was honorably sent back to Rome, as he desired. Perceiving his end to draw nigh, he made moving exhortations to his prelates; then caused himself to be carried into the Vatican church, where he prayed long, and discoursed on the resurrection on the side of his grave. Having received extreme unction, he desired to be carried to the altar of St. Peter and set down before it; where he prayed an hour prostrate: then being lifted up again upon his couch he heard mass, received the Viaticum, and soon after calmly expired, on the 19th of April, 1054, being fifty years old, and having held the pontificate five years and two months.* Miracles which followed his death, proclaimed his glory with God. His name is inserted in the Roman Martyrology.
The devil has ever labored with so much the greater fury to rob the church and each particular Christian soul of the most holy sacrament of the altar, or at least of its fruits, as in this adorable mystery Christ has displayed in our favor all the riches of his mercy and love, and has bestowed on us the most powerful means of grace and spiritual strength. It therefore behooves every Christian to exert his zeal in maintaining the honor of this divine sacrament, and ensuring to himself and others such incomparable advantages. Besides the general sacred deposite of faith, here love and gratitude lay us under a particular obligation. St. John, the disciple of love, lays open the true characteristics of this adorable mystery of love by a short introduction to his account of the last supper, soaring above the other Evangelists, and penetrating into the divine sanctuary of our Lord’s breast to discover the infinite charity with which he was inflamed for us, and which prompted him to invent and institute it, saying, that Jesus, knowing the moment was come for his leaving us and returning to his Father, out of that love which he always bore us, and which he continued to bear us to the end, when it exerted itself in such a wonderful manner as to seem to cast forth all its flames, he bequeathed us this truly divine legacy. Love called him to heaven for our sake, that he might prepare us places there, and send us the holy Paraclete to perfect the great work of our sanctification. And the same boundless love engaged him to exhaust, as it were, his infinite wisdom and power to remain always corporally among us, and most intimately unite himself with us, to be our comfort and strength, and that we may most perfectly be animated by his spirit, and live by him. Shall we receive such a present with coldness and indifference? Shall we be so basely ungrateful to such a lover, as not to burn with zeal for the honor of this mystery of his love and grace, and unite ourselves to him in it by the most devout and frequent communion; and by our continual desire, and most frequent daily adoration of Jesus in this holy sacrament, endeavor to make him all the amends we are able for the insults he receives in it, and to appropriate to ourselves a greater share of its treasures, by a perpetual communion as it were with his Holy Spirit, and a participation of all his merits, graces, treasures, satisfaction, love, and other virtues?
St. Elphege, M.
archbishop of canterbury
From his genuine life, written by Osbern, a monk of Canterbury, in 1070, but finished by Eadmer, as Mr. Wharton discovered, who has given us a more ample and correct edition of it than either the Bollandists or Mabillon had been able to furnish. See a short history of his martyrdom in a chronicle written in the reign of Henry I., in the Cottonian library. Vitellius, c. v. viii. Leland, Collect. t. 1, p. 22, and the history of the translation of his body from London to Canterbury, among the MSS. In the Harielan library, Cod. 624, fol. 136, in the British Museum.1
A. D. 1012.
St. Elphege was born of noble and virtuous parents, who gave him a good education. Fearing the snares of riches, he renounced the world while he was yet very young; and though most dutiful to his parents in all other things, he in this courageously overcame the tears of his tender mother. He served God first in the monastery of Derherste in Gloucestershire. His desire of greater perfection taught him always to think that he had not yet begun to live to God. After some years he left Derherste, and built himself a cell in a desert place of the abbey of Bath, where he shut himself up, unknown to men, but well known to God, for whose love he made himself a voluntary martyr of penance. His virtue, after some time, shone to men the brighter through the veils of his humility, and many noblemen and others addressed themselves to him for instructions in the paths of perfection, and he was at length obliged to take upon him the direction of the great abbey of Bath. Perfection is more difficultly maintained in numerous houses. St. Elphege lamented bitterly the irregularities of the tepid among the brethren, especially little junketings, from which he in a short time reclaimed them; and God, by the sudden death of one, opened the eyes of all the rest. The good abbot would not tolerate the least relaxation in his communion, being sensible how small a breach may totally destroy the regularity of a house. He used to say, that it would have been much better for a man to have stayed in the world, than to be an imperfect monk; and that to wear the habit of a saint, without having the spirit, was a perpetual lie, and an hypocrisy which insults, but can never impose upon Al mighty God. St. Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, dying in 984, St. Dunstan being admonished by St. Andrew, in a vision, obliged our holy abbot to quit his solitude, and accept of episcopal consecration. The virtues of Elphege became more conspicuous in this high station, though he was no more than thirty years of age when he was first placed in it. In winter, how cold soever it was, he always rose at midnight, went out, and prayed a long time barefoot, and without his upper garment. He never ate flesh unless on extraordinary occasions. He was no less remarkable for charity to his neighbor, than severity to himself. He accordingly provided so liberally for the indigences of the poor, that during his time there were no beggars in the whole diocese of Winchester. The holy prelate had governed the see of Winchester twenty-two years with great edification, when, after the death of archbishop Alfric, in 1006, he was translated to that of Canterbury, being fifty-two years of age. He who trembled under his former burden, was much more terrified at the thought of the latter: but was compelled to acquiesce. Having been at Rome to receive his pall, he held at his return a great national council at Oenham, in 1009, in which thirty-two canons were published for the reformation of errors and abuses, and the establishment of discipline; and, among other things, the then ancient law, commanding the fast on Friday, was confirmed.
The Danes at that time made the most dreadful havoc in England. They landed where they pleased, and not only plundered the country, but committed excessive barbarities on the natives, with little or no opposition from the weak king Ethelred. Their army being joined by the traitorous earl Edric, they marched out of the West into Kent, and sat down before Canterbury. But before it was invested, the English nobility, perceiving the danger the place was in, desired the archbishop, then in the city, to provide for his security by flight, which he refused to do, saying, that it was the part only of a hireling to abandon his flock in the time of danger. During the siege, he often sent out to the enemies to desire them to spare his innocent sheep, whom he endeavored to animate against the worst that could happen. And having prepared them, by his zealous exhortations, rather to suffer the utmost than renounce their faith, he gave them the blessed eucharist, and recommended them to the divine protection. While he was thus employed in assisting and encouraging his people, Canterbury was taken by storm. The infidels on entering the city made a dreadful slaughter of all that came in their way, without distinction of sex or age. The holy prelate was no sooner apprized of the barbarity of the enemy, but breaking from the monks, who would have detained him in the church, where they thought he might be safe, he pressed through the Danish troops, and made his way to the place of slaughter. Then turning to the enemy, he desired them to forbear the massacre of his people, and rather discharge their fury upon him, crying out to the murderers: “Spare these innocent persons. There is no glory in spilling their blood. Turn your indignation rather against me. I have reproached you for your cruelties: I have fed, clothed, and ransomed these your captives.” The archbishop, talking with this freedom, was immediately seized, and used by the Danes with all manner of barbarity. Not content with making him the spectator of the burning of his cathedral, and the decimation of his monks, and of the citizens, having torn his face, beat and kicked him unmercifully, they laid him in irons, and confined him several months in a filthy dungeon. But being afflicted with an epidemical mortal colic in their army, and attributing this scourge to their cruel usage of the saint, they drew him out of prison. He prayed for them, and gave to their sick bread which he had blessed; by eating this their sick recovered, and the calamity ceased. Their chiefs returned thanks to the servant of God, and deliberated about setting him at liberty, but covetousness prevailing in their council, they exacted for his ransom three thousand marks of gold. He said that the country was all laid waste; moreover, that the patrimony of the poor was not to be squandered away. He therefore was bound again, and on Easter Sunday was brought before the commanders of their fleet, which then lay at Greenwich, and threatened with torments and death unless he paid the ransom demanded. He answered, that he had no other gold to offer them than that of true wisdom, which consists in the knowledge and worship of the living God: which if they refused to listen to, they would one day fare worse than Sodom; adding, that their empire would not long subsist in England. The barbarians, enraged at this answer, knocked him down with the backs of their battle-axes, and then stoned him. The saint, like St. Stephen, prayed our Lord to forgive them, and to receive his soul. In the end, raising himself up a little, he said, “O good Shepherd! O incomparable Shepherd! look with compassion on the children of thy church, which l, dying, recommend to thee.” And here a Dane, that had been lately baptized by the saint, perceiving him agonizing and under torture, grieved to see him suffer in so slow and painful a manner, to put an end to his pain, clove his head with his battle-axe, and gave the finishing stroke to his martyrdom Thus died St. Elphege, on the 19th of April, 1012, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. He was solemnly interred in the cathedral of St. Paul’s, in London. In 1023, his body was found entire, and translated with honor to Canterbury: Knut, the Danish king, and Agelnoth, the archbishop, went with it from St. Paul’s to the river: it was carried by monks down a narrow street to the water side, and put on board a vessel; the king held the stern. Queen Emma also attended with great presents, and an incredible multitude of people followed the procession from London. The church of Canterbury, on the occasion, was most magnificently adorned. This translation was made on the 8th of June, on which it was annually commemorated. His relics lay near the high altar till the dispersion of relics under Henry VIII. Hacon, Turkill, and the other Danish commanders, perished miserably soon after, and their numerous fleet of above two hundred sail was almost all lost in violent storms. St. Elphege is named in the Roman Martyrology.
Our English Martyrology commemorates on the 1st of September another St. Elphege, surnamed the Bald, bishop of Winchester, which see he governed from the death of St. Brynstan, in 935 to 953. He is celebrated for his sanctity, and a singular spirit of prophecy, of which Malmesbury gives some instances.
St. Ursmar, Bishop and Abbot of Laubes, or Lobes
He was born near Avesne, in Haynault, and grew up from his cradle a model of all virtues, in which he made a continual progress by a life of humility, patience, and penance, and by an assiduous application to prayer, in which he usually shed abundance of tears. What he most earnestly asked of God was the gift of an ardent charity, that all his thoughts and actions, and those of all men, might, with the most pure and fervent intention, and in the most perfect manner, be directed in all things to fulfil his holy and adorable will. In his conversation it was his earnest desire and drift to induce persons of a secular life to fix their thoughts, as much as the condition of their state would allow, on heavenly things; and to accompany even their worldly business with such aspirations and thoughts, and to study to withdraw their hearts from all attachment to creatures. St. Landelin had then lately founded the abbey of Lobes, on the Sambre, in a territory which is now subject to the prince of Liege, though in the diocese of Cambray. Ursmar here put on the monastic habit. When St. Landelin retired into a closer solitude, where he soon after built the monastery of Crespin, he left Ursmar abbot of Lobes, in 686. Our saint redoubled his fervor in all the exercises of penance in this dignity. He never tasted any flesh-meat or fish, and for ten years never once touched bread, not even in a dangerous sickness. He finished the building of his abbey and church, and founded Aune and several other monasteries. He often left his dear cell to preach the faith to idolaters and sinners. He became the apostle of several districts in the dioceses of Cambray, Arras, Tournay, Noyon, Terouanne, Laon, Metz, Triers, Cologne, and Maestricht. By virtue of a commission from the holy see, he exercised the functions of a bishop: his predecessor, St. Landelin, and his two successors, SS. Ermin and Theodulph, were invested with the same character. In his old age he resigned his abbacy to St. Ermin, and died in retirement in 713, being almost sixty-nine years old, on the 18th day of April, on which he is honored as principal patron at Binche, Lobes, and Luxembourg; but is named on the 19th, which was the day of his burial, in the Roman and several other Martyrologies. His relics are venerated at Binche, four leagues from Mons. See his original life by a disciple, with the notes of Henschenius: also Folcuin, abbot of Laubes, in 980, in his accurate history of The Gests of the Abbots of Laubes, published by D’Achery, Spicileg. t. 6, p. 541. See also Folcuin’s appendix on the miracles wrought at the shrine of St. Ursmar, under the author’s own eyes, ib., and in the Bollandists, 18 Apr. p. 564, and another life of this saint composed in heroic verse by Heriger, abbot of Laubes, in the year 1000.
* By what means the imagination, under the violent impression of some strong image or passion. In pregnant mothers, should impress visible marks on the organs of the child in the womb, while the circulation of fluids is the same through the body of the child and that of the mother: and the former is so tender in its frame, that if blown upon by wind, it would retain the mark; is a problem which we can no more account for than we can understand the general laws of the union between the soul and body in ourselves. But whatever some late physicians have said to the contrary, innumerable incontestable facts might be gathered to evince the truth of the thing. Probably the spirits or sinews of the mother receive a power of conveying a sensible image, and strongly impressing it on the inward parts of the tender embryo: of the fact Dr. Mead is an unexceptionable voucher.
1 Wibert, in Vita Leonis IX. l. 1, n. 10.
2 Herm. Contract. Chron. ad an. 1050; Lanfranc. in Bereng. c. 4.
* Berengarius, a native of Tours, studied first in the school of St. Martin’s in that city, afterwards at Chartres, under the famous Fulbert its bishop. Returning to Tours with great reputation for his skill in grammar and dialectic, about the year 1030, he commenced Scholasticus in that city, by which title we are to understand master of the school, not, as Baillet mistakes, (Jugements des Sçavants.) the Ecolatre, or Scholasticus among the canons of the cathedral, (which seems not then to have been erected into a dignity in chapters,) much less the Theologal, certainly of a more modern institution. See Menage. (Anti-Baill. t. 1, c. 39, p. 134.) Many eminent men were formed in his school; among others Eusebius Bruno, who, in 1047, succeeded Hubert of Vendome in the bishopric of Angers, and the learned Hildebert, who became bishop of Mans, and afterwards archbishop of Tours. Berengarius was honored with the priesthood, and, about the year 1039. nominated by Hubert of Vendome, archdeacon of Angers, though he continued to govern the school of Tours, and often resided there till his retreat, eight years before his death. He enjoyed the esteem of many learned and holy men, till jealousy and ambition blasted many great qualities with which he seemed endowed, and transformed him into another man. Guitmund, from the testimony of those who best knew him, says that the confusion he felt for having been worsted in a disputation which he had with Lanfranc, and the envy which he bore him when he saw his school an Bec daily more and more crowded, and his own almost deserted, first made him seek to distinguish himself by advancing novelties. (Guitm. de Euch. 1. l, p. 441, t. 4, Bibl. Patr.) Eusebius Bruno, formerly his scholar, entreated him to examine his own heart, whether it was not owing to a desire of distinguishing himself that he had begun to dispute against the holy Eucharist, (Ap. De Roye, p. 48,) and Lanfranc ascribes his fall to vain-glory, (in Bereng. c. 4.) About the year 1047 he first broached errors against marriage, and against the baptism of infants; but soon corrected himself. He immediately after fell into others concerning the blessed Eucharist, in which he made use of the erroneous book of John Scotas Erigena. Hugh, bishop of Langres, who had formerly been his schoolfe how at Chartres, in a conference with Berengarius, discovered that he denied the mystery of the real presence, and trans substantiation, and wrote him a beautiful dogmatical letter on that subject before October, in 1049, (in Append. Op. Laufr. p. 68.) Adelman, who had been also his schoolfellow in the same place, and was afterwards bishop of Brescia, wrote to him an excellent letter before the year 1050, in which he says that two years before the churches of Germany and Italy had been exceedingly disturbed and scandalized upon the rumor that so impious an error was advanced by him, (Ap. Martenne, Anecdot. t. 1, p. 196.) Berengarius openly declared his erroneous doctrine in certain letters which he wrote to Lanfranc about that time, in which he espoused the errors of John Scotus Erigena, and condemned the doctrine of Paschasius Radbertus, which was that of the church, (in vitâ Lanfr. c. 3, et Lanlr. in Bereng. c. 4, p. 22.) The news of this new heresy no sooner reached Rome, but St. Leo IX. condemned it in a council which he held in that city after Easter, in 1050. But as Berengarius could not be heard in person, the pope ordered another council to meet at Vercelli three months after, at which the heresiarch was summoned to appear. He was soon informed of the condemnation of his error at Rome, and immediately repaired into Normandy to the young duke William the Bastard. In a conference before that prince at Brione, he and a cleric who was his scholar, and on whom he much relied in disputation, were reduced to silence by the Catholic theologians, and revoked their errors. But Berengarius insolently renewed them at Chartres, whither he withdrew, as we are informed by Durand, abbot of Troarn. (L. de Corpore Domini, p. 437. See also Mabillon, Acta Bened. n. 16, et Annal. 1. 59, n. 74.) St. Leo IX. opened the council at Vercelli in September, at which Berengarius did not appear, but only two ecclesiastics in his name, who were silenced in the disputation: the doctrine which they maintained was condemned, and the book of John Scotus Erigena thrown into the flames. In October the same year, 1050, a council at Paris, in presence of king Henry, unanimously condemned Berengarius and his accomplices, and the king deprived him of the revenue of his benefice. In 1054, Victor II. having succeeded the holy pope Leo IX., held immediately a council at Florence, in which he confirmed all the decrees of his predecessor. He caused another to be assembled the same year at Tours by his legates. Hildebrand and cardinal Gerard, in which Berengarius made his appearance according to summons. He at first began to vindicate his error, but at length solemnly retracted it, and bound himself by oath to maintain with the Catholic church the faith of the real presence in the blessed Eucharist. This retraction he signed with his own hand, and thereupon was received by the legates to the communion of the church, (Lanfr. p. 234, Anonym. de Multiplic. Condemn. Bereng. p. 361; Guitm. 1. 3, t. 18; Bibl. Patr. p. 452; Mabillon, &c.) Yet the perfidious wretch, soon after he was come from the council, made a jest of his oath, and continued secretly to teach his heresy. To shut every door against it, Maurillus, archbishop of Rouen, made an excellent confession of the Catholic faith, which he obliged all to subscribe: in which many other prelates imitated him. (See Mabillon, Act. t. 9. p. 226, and Annal. t. 2, p. 460. &c.) Eusebius Bruno, bishop of Angers, in his letter to Berengarius, mentions a second council held at Tours against him. After the death of pope Stephen, who had succeeded Victor, Nicholas II. assembled at Rome, in 1059, a council of one hundred and thirteen bishops, at which Berengarius was present, signed the Catholic confession of faith on this mystery, presented him by the council, and having kindled himself a fire in the midst of the assembly, threw into it the book which contained his hereby The pope sent copies of his recantation to all places where his errors had raised a disturbance, and admitted him to communion. Nevertheless the author being returned into France, relapsed into his error, and spoke injuriously of the see of Rome, and the holy pope Leo IX. Alexander II. wrote him a tender letter, exhorting him to enter into himself, and no longer to scandalize the church. Eusebius Bruno, bishop of Angers, formerly his scholar, and afterwards his friend and protector, did the same. In 1076 Gerard, cardinal bishop of Ostia, presided in a council at Poitiers, against his errors. Maurillus, archbishop of Rouen, had condemned them in a council at Rouen, in 1063, (Mabillon, Analect. pp. 224, 227, and 514.) Hildebrand having succeeded Alexander II. under the name of Gregory VII., called Berengarius to Rome in 1078, and in a council there obliged him to give in a Catholic confession of faith. The bishops of Pisa and Padua thinking afterwards that he had not sufficiently expressed the mystery of Transubstantiation, and his former relapses having given reason to suspect his sincerity, the pope detained him a year at Rome, till another council should be held. This met in February, 1079, and was composed of one hundred and fifty bishops. In it Berengarius declared his firm faith that the bread and wine are substantially changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, and prostrating himself, confessed that he had of then erred on the mystery of the Eucharist. (See Martenne, Anecdot. t. l. p. 109.) After so solemn a declaration of his repentance he returned to the vomit when he arrived in France. Then it was that Lanfranc, who had been nine years bishop of Canterbury, in 1079. wrote his excellent confutation of this heresy, in which he mentions the pontificate of Gregory VII., and the last council at Rome, in 1079. From which, and other circumstances, Dom. Clemencez demonstrates that he could not have published this work while he was abbot at Caen, as Mabillon and Fleury imagined. About the same time Guitmund, afterwards bishop of Aversa, near Naples, a scholar of Lanfranc, published also a learned book on the Body of Christ, against Berengarius. Alger, a priest and scholastic at Liege, afterwards a monk of Cluni, who died in 1130, wrote also an incomparable book on the same subject, by the reading of which Erasmus says his faith of the truth of that great mystery, of which he never doubted, was much confirmed, and he strongly recommends to all modern Sacramentarians the perusal of these three treatises preferably to all the polemic writers of his age. Durand, monk of Fecam, afterwards abbot of Troarn, about the year 1060, likewise wrote on the Body of our Lord, against Berengarius, which book is published by D’Achery in an Appendix to the works of Lanfranc.
These treatises of Lanfranc and Guitmund doubtless contributed to open the eyes of Berengarius, who never pretended to make any reply to either of them, and whose sincere repentance for the eight last years of his life is attested by irretragable authorities of the same age, as by Clarius the monk, who died ten years after him, and almost in his neighborhood, (Spicileg. t. 2, p. 747,) Richard of Poitiers, a monk of Cluni, (Ap. Martenne, Ampl. Collect. t. 5, p. 1168.) the chronicle of Tours, (Ap. Martenne, Anecd. t. 3,) and others. These eight years he spent in prayer, almsdeeds, and manual labor, in the isle of St. Cosmas, below the city, then belonging to the abbey of Marmoutier, where he died in 1088. William of Malmesbury writes, that he died trembling, after making the following declaration: “This day will my Lord Jesus Christ appear to me either to glory, by his mercy, through my repentance; or, as I fear, on the account of others, to my punishment.” Oudin, the apostate, betrays a blind passion in favor of the heresy, which he had embraced, when he pretends to call in question his repentance. (De script. Eccles. t. 2, p. 635.) Cave carries his prejudices yet further, by exaggerating, beyond all bounds, the number of his followers. If it amounted to three hundred, this might seem considerable to Malmesbury and others, who complain that he seduced many. Not a single person of note is mentioned among them. Cave says, his adversaries were only the monks. But Hugh, bishop of Langres, Theoduin of Liege, Eusebius Bruno of Angers, the two scholastics of Liege, Gossechin and Adelman, many of the bishops who condemned him, and others who confuted his error, were not of the monastic order. Never was any heresy more universally condemned over the whole church. The unhappy author is convinced from his writings of notorious falsifications, (Martenne, of cit. p. III. &c.,) and of pertidy from his three solemn retractations falsified by him, viz. in the Roman council of pope Nicholas II., (Conc. t. 9. p. 1101,) and in those of St. Gregory VII. in 1078 and 1079; not to mention that which he made before William the Bastard, duke of Normandy. From the fragments and letters of this heresiarch which have reached us, it appears that his style was dry, harsh, full of obscure laconisms, no ways equal to the reputation which he bore of an able grammarian, or to that of the good writers of the same age, Lanfranc, Adelman, St. Anselm, &c. His manner of writing is altogether sophistical, very opposite to the simplicity with which the Christian religion was preached by the apostles. We have extant the excellent writings of many who entered the lists against him; Hugh, bishop of Langres; Theoduin, bishop of Liege; Eusebius Bruno, bishop of Angers, (who had been some time his protector.) Lanfranc, Adelman, scholastic of Liege, afterwards bishop of Brescia, Guitmund, monk of the Cross of St. Leufroi, afterwards bishop of Aversa; B. Maurillus. arch bishop of Rouen: Bruno, afterwards bishop of Segni; Durand, abbot of Troarn in Normandy; B. Wholphelm, abbot of Brunvilliers, near Cologne; Ruthard, monk of Corwei, afterwards abbot of Hersfield; Geoffrey of Vendome, whose first writing was a treatise on the Body of our Lord; St. Anastasins, monk of St. Michael, afterwards of Cluni; Jotsald, monk of Cluni; Albert, monk of mount Cassino; Ascelin, monk of Bee; Gozechin, scholastic of Liege, an anonymous author published by Chifflet, &c. See the history of Berengarius, written by Francis le Roye, professor in law at Angers, in 4to. 1656: and by Mabillon in his Analecta. t. 2, p. 477, and again in his Acta Bened. t. 9. Fleury, Histor, Eccles, and Ceillier, t. 20, p. 280, have followed this latter in their accounts of this famous heresiarch. But his history is most accurately given by FF. Clemencez and Ursin Durand, in their continuation of the Histoire Littéraire de la France, t. 8. p. 197, who have pointed out and demonstrated several gross mistakes and misrepresentations of Oudin and Cave, the former in his Bibl. scriptor. Eccles. t. 2, the latter in his Hist. Litter.
3 Lanfr. in Bereng. c. 4.
4 Cerular. ep. et Sigeb. de script. c. 349.
5 T. 9, Conc. p. 949, and Sigebert de script. Eccl. c. 349, Baron. Annal. t. 9; Leo Allat. l, de Lib Eccles. Græc.
6 Cedrenus, Zonaras, Curopal, &c. See Baronius, &c.
* That Leo IX. had taken the monastic habit before he was chosen bishop, Mabillon proves from these words of this pope in his last moments: “The cell in which I lived when a monk, I have seen changed into a spacious palace Now I must enter a narrow tomb” Mabill. t. 4, Annal
1 Spelman, Conc. Brit. t. l, p. 510.
Butler, A., The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints (New York 1903) II, 112-120.