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