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Hilarion of Gaza, Saint

(204 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (291–371), was a Palestinian monk, whose life is described by Jerome in the Vita Hilarionis (= VH; c. 390). According to this, Hilarion, who had acquired a philosophical education in Alexandria, was converted and became a student of Anthony, then settled in nearby Gaza as a hermit and performed miracles; he became the founder of Palestinian monastic life. After the death of Anthony (356) Hilarion fled from fame, sought solitude, and embarked on many years of peregrination; this led him to Cyprus,…

Knipstro, Johannes

(191 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (May 1, 1497, Sandau, Altmark – Oct 4, 1556, Wolgast, Pomerania). As a Franciscan monk, Knipstro began his studies at Frankfurt an der Oder, but was then transferred to Pyritz (Pyrzyce), where he emerged in 1521 as one of the first Protestant propagandists in Pomerania. There followed stays in Stettin (Szczecin), Stargard, and Stralsund. In 1531 he was called to Greifswald to implement the Reformation. At the diet of Treptow (Trzebiatów) in1534, which resolved to introduce the Ref…

John Climacus (Saint)

(201 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (late 6th cent. – mid-7th cent. ce) was an anchorite for many years and abbot of St. Catherine's Monastery (Sinai, St. Catherine's Monastery). His epithet comes from his major work, Κλίμαξ τοῦ παραδεῖσου/ Klímax toú parade ίsou (“Ladder to heaven”). In this tractate on the ascetic life, with which he became the spiritual teacher of Eastern monasticism, John offers a portrayal of the path that the monk must travel in pursuing perfection. Comparable to Jacob's Ladder, it leads in 30 stages from renunciation of the wor…

Cenobites

(120 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] The word “cenobites” is derived from Gk κοινός βίος/ koinós bíos and refers to the common life as the characteristic feature of the monastery, ¶ as opposed to the isolated life of anachorites. Pachomius is considered the founder of cenobitic monasticism; his rules committed the monks to poverty, celibacy, and obedience. Basil the Great of Caesarea anchored cenobitic monasticism in the church as an impetus toward its reform. John Cassian regarded the cenobites as the earliest fo…

Vigilius, Pope

(178 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mar 29, 537 – Jun 7, 555), Roman deacon and apocrisiary in Constantinople, made pope after the conquest of Rome by Byzantine troops. His pontificate was dominated by the superior power of the Byzantine hierarchy. While Vigilius asserted papal supremacy over the Western churches (correspondence with Arles), in the Three Chapters Controversy he had to submit to Justinian I. Initially he refused to assent to the edict of 544, but he abandoned his resistance at the Council of Constan…

Slüter, Joachim

(190 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (1490, Dömitz an der Elbe – May 19, 1532, Rostock). After studying in Rostock, he was appointed chaplain at Sankt Petri there in 1523; his Protestant preaching attracted large crowds. He drafted theses for a disputation in 1525, but the council disallowed it. The episcopal vicar succeeded in having him expelled from Rostock for a short time, but he returned in 1526. With his hymnal, catechism, and prayer book in Low German, he became the voice of the Reformation in Mecklenburg. Wi…

Rupert of Deutz

(310 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (1075/1080, probably near Liège – 1129, Deutz), monastic theologian from the Benedictine abbey of St. Lawrence near Liège. Rupert’s criticism of the simony of Bishop Otbert of Liège during the Investiture Controversy led to his banishment for several years, an exile lamented in his Carmina de sancto Laurentio. In 1108/1109 he was ordained to the priesthood. A few years later, he wrote De divinis officiis, a meditation on the church year, which drew criticism from William of Saint-Thierry on account of its eucharistic doctrine. His De voluntate Dei, a treatise on evi…

Pontian, Pope (Saint)

(165 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (230 – Sep 28, 235). The theological significance of Pontian rests on his express approval of the condemnation of Origen by Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria. His episcopate fell in the period of the schism that had begun under Callistus I. During the persecution of Christians by Maximinus Thrax (235–238), both Pontian and his rival Hippolytus of Rome (217–235) were deported to Sardinia. The date Sep 28, 235, on which he resigned his office, thus ending the schism, is the earliest as…

Kammin

(203 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] is a city on the Dievenow in Pomerania; since 1176 an episcopal seat, first founded in Wolin in 1140 following the missionary journeys of Otto of Bamberg. The diocese received broad independence (Exemption) since it was subject to the Holy See in Rome, but not to the archdioceses of Gniezno or Magdeburg. In the 13th/14th centuries, the diocese, initially restricted to the territories subject to the dukes ¶ of Pomerania, expanded to the west (Mecklenburg) and southeast (Uckermark, Neumark). In 1248, the bishops of Kammin gained sovereignty over an …

Dorotheus of Gaza

(185 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (500/510, Antioch – 560/580, near Gaza) lived for years in a monastery near Gaza, where he was a student of Barsanuphius and John the Prophet. In 540 he founded his own monastery. His writings include works of spiritual instruction, several letters, a vita, and a collection of aphorisms. Building on Evagrius Ponticus, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom, Dorotheus developed a cenobitic spirituality rooted in baptism. Under the guidance of a spiritual leader, …

Pelagius I, Pope

(193 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (pontificate Apr 16, 556 – Mar 4, 561). Already an influential figure while still a deacon (Roman apocrisiary in Constantinople), in 546 he tried in vain to persuade the Goths not to sack Rome. In the Three Chapters Controversy, Pelagius took an equivocal position. Initially he spoke out against condemning them, but later, under pressure from the emperor, supported recognition of the imperial Council of Constantinople (IV, 2). As a result, Justinian I made him pope. The Liber pontificalis mentions a rumor that he was in part to blame for …

Siricius, Pope

(98 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (384–399) came forward as an opponent of the ascetic circles associated with Jerome and Paulinus of Nola. In his letters, he gave advice on questions of the life of the church and dealing with heretics. His pontificate marked the beginning of the tradition of the papal decretals as an independent legal source alongside synodal decisions. Heinrich Holze Bibliography PL 13, 1131–1196; 67, 231–238 RPR( J) 1, 21885, repr. 1956, 40–42 LP 1, 1886, 216f. E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums, vol. I, 1930 F.R. Gahbauer, BBKL X, 1995, 530/531 W. Schwaiger, LThK 3 IX, 2000, 631.

Pelagius II, Pope

(139 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (pontificate 579–590), of Gothic ancestry. His pontificate was dominated by conflicts ¶ with the Lombards, against whom he sought an alliance with the Franks when help from the emperor was not forthcoming. Of his actions, the Liber pontificalis records that he donated his own house for the care of the poor and earned respect for building several churches. He tried in vain to end the schism of Aquileia, a product of the still smoldering Three Chapters Controversy. Relations with the Byzantine church…

Loccum Abbey

(218 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Loccum Abbey, a Cistercian monastery lying 50 km northwest of Hanover, founded in 1163 as a filiation of Volkenroda, Thuringia. It was granted papal exemption in 1183 and an imperial charter in 1152. Its imperial immediacy was confirmed in 1530. The monastery gradually made the transition to the Reformation in the late 16th century, although it retained its autonomy. In 1677, G.W. Molanus organized the hospice according to the principles of Protestant monasticism ( Leges Hospitii). From 1792 onward, J.C. Salfeld transformed it into a “Prediger-Seminarium…

Cassian, John (Saint)

(395 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (360, Dobruja – 430/435, Marseille). Born in a Christian home, Cassian undertook a pilgrimage to Palestine and Egypt, where for more than a decade he was a student of the monastic fathers. During the Origenistic controversies he left Egypt c. 399/400, went to Constantinople and John Chrysostom, went to Rome after the latter's banishment, and ultimately settled in southern Gaul, where in 415 he founded a monastery and a convent. With his writings, in which he reflected on the experiences of ascetic life, he became the teacher of western monasticism (Benedict, Rule of). In D…

Bruno of Segni

(169 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (1040/1050, Asti – Jul 18, 1123, Segni, near Rome) was educated in the monastery of St. Perpetua near Asti and studied in Bologna. In 1073, he became a canon of the cathedral at Siena. In 1079, he debated with Berengar of Tours in Rome; shortly thereafter he was elected bishop of Segni. Under Gregory VII and his successors, he was one of the most influential members of the curia. In 1103, he entered the abbey of Monte Cassino and in 1107 became its abbot. Initially, he retained his ecclesiastical offices, but after ¶ the Investiture Controversy (1111) he withdrew …

Sternberg

(159 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mecklenburg). Sternberg is a town north of Schwerin where pogroms took place after Jews were charged with desecrating the host. After a hearing and trial, the accused were burnt at the stake, a prelude to the expulsion of all Jews from Mecklenburg. In the years that followed, the miraculous hosts in Sternberg made it a popular pilgrimage site. Duke Magnus underwrote the building of a chapel of the Sacred Blood. An Augustinian monastery was also built, whose promoters included J. v. Staupitz and Johann v. Paltz. In his An den christlichen Adel, Luther called for the dem…

Marcellinus

(207 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (bishop of Rome Jun 30, 295/296 – Oct 25, 304). His pontificate marks “a dark chapter in the history of the Roman church” (Caspar, 98). He is mentioned in 30th place in the Liber pontificalis , but in many lists of the 4th/5th centuries his name is lacking, his period in office being assigned to his successor Marcellus I. This is because of misconduct during the Diocletian persecution (Persecutions of Christians: I): “He was led to the sacrifice, so that he should perform the incense rite, and he…

Silverius, Pope

(141 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Jun 8, 536 – Nov 11, 537 (deposed; died Dec 2, 537, on the island of Ponza or Palmaria in the Gulf of Gaeta; born in Frozinone, Campania). The Liber pontificalis records that Silverius had been elevated to the episcopate at the instigation of Theodahad, Ostrogoth king of Italy. When the Byzantines under Belisarius laid siege to Rome, Silverius urged surrendering the city without resistance, but he was relieved of his office shortly afterwards. All that is known of his work as bishop of Rome comes from records of ordinations. Heinrich Holze Bibliography LP 1, 1886, 290–295 RPR…

Mark, Pope (Saint)

(170 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (bishop of Rome from Jan 18 to Oct 7, 336). When Miltiades was pope, Mark (then a deacon) probably held a leadership position alongside the bishop in the Roman church (Eus. Hist. eccl. X 5.18). There is no evidence of how he reacted to the conflicts over the Nicene Creed (Synod of Tyre in 335; banishment of Athanasius to Trier 335/337). Of Mark the Liber pontificalis says only: “He decreed that the bishop of Ostia, who consecrates the bishop of Rome, should wear the pallium and be consecrated in turn by the bishop of Rome” (2…
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