Antiochus Strategos part 23


    Embarking once more, they came to a city called Naples and remained there several days. It is the seat of an archbishop whose dignity is great there. Not far away is the small town of Lucullanum, where the body of St. Severinus is preserved. Then he came to the city of Capua, and the archbishop there sent him to the bishop of another town; that bishop sent hiln to the Bishop of Teano, and he in turn sent him to St. Benedict’s [at Monte Cassino]. It was autumn when he reached Monte Cassino, and it was seven years since he first began his journey from Rome and ten years in all since he had left his native country.

    The return of the legates to Rome was occasioned by the excommurucation clf Leo the Isaurian in 728, who had threatened Pope Gregorv II.

    See the Dialogues of Gregory the Great, iv. c. 30. Theodoric was supposed to have been cast into hell for having imprisoned and caused the death of Pope lohn V and for having killed Symmachus, the Senator. Arculf’s narrative, Vvritten by Adamnan, also describes the volcano. This island, the ancient I liera, known as Volcani Insula from its volcanic phenomena, is the southernnost of the Lipari islands. It lies twelve miles from Sicily.

    Great self discipline

    And when the venerable man Willibald and Tidbercht, who had travelled everywhere with him, came to St. Benedict’s, they found only a few monks there under Abbot Petronax. Without delay he joined the community, for which he was so well fitted both by his great self discipline and his natural aptitude for obedience. He learned much from their careful teaching, but he in turn taught them more by his outward bearing; he showed them not so much by words as by the beauty of his character what was the real spirit oftheir institute; and by proving himselfto be a model of monastic virtue he compelled the admiration, love and respect of all.

    In the first year that he spent there he was sacristan of the church, in the second a dean of the monastery, and for eight years afterwards he was porter in two monasteries, four years as porter in the monastery which is perched on a very high hill, and four years more in the other monastery which stands lower down near the river Rapido, about two miles away. So for ten years the venerable man Willibald tried to observe, as far as possible, every detail of the monastic observance as laid down by the Rule of St. Benedict. And he not only observed it himself but led the others, whom he had brought over long distances by foot and by sea, to follow him in the traditional path of regular life.

    Read More about Alexius Part 12


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