Saint of the Day – Nov 5, 2021

St. Peter Chrysologus

The Catholic Church celebrates Saint Peter Chrysologus, a fifth-century Italian bishop known for testifying courageously to Christ’s full humanity and divinity during a period of doctrinal confusion in the Church.

The saint’s title, Chrysologus, signifies “golden speech” in Greek. Named as a Doctor of the Church in 1729, he is distinguished as the “Doctor of Homilies” for the concise but theologically rich reflections he delivered during his time as the Bishop of Ravenna.

His surviving works offer eloquent testimony to the Church’s traditional beliefs about Mary’s perpetual virginity, the penitential value of Lent, Christ’s Eucharistic presence, and the primacy of St. Peter and his successors in the Church.

Few details of St. Peter Chrysologus’ biography are known. He was born in the Italian town of Imola in either the late fourth or early fifth century, but sources differ as to whether this occurred around 380 or as late as 406.

Following his study of theology, Peter was ordained to the diaconate by Imola’s local bishop Cornelius, whom he greatly admired and regarded as his spiritual father. Cornelius not only ordained Peter, but taught him the value of humility and self-denial.

The lessons of his mentor inspired Peter to live as a monk for many years, embracing a lifestyle of asceticism, simplicity, and prayer. His simple monastic life came to an end, however, after the death of Archbishop John of Ravenna in 430.

After John’s death, the clergy and people of Ravenna chose a successor and asked Cornelius, still the Bishop of Imola, to journey to Rome and obtain papal approval for the candidate. Cornelius brought Peter, then still a deacon, along with him on the visit to Pope Sixtus III.

Tradition relates that the Pope had experienced a vision from God on the night before the meeting, commanding him to overrule Ravenna’s choice of a new archbishop. The Pope declared that Peter, instead, was to be ordained as John’s successor.

In Ravenna, Peter was received warmly by the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III, and his mother Galla Placidia. She is said to have given him the title of “Chrysologus” because of his preaching skills.

Throughout the archdiocese, however, he encountered the surviving remnants of paganism along with various abuses and distortions of the Catholic faith. Peter exercised zeal and pastoral care in curbing abuses and evangelizing non-Christians during his leadership of the Church in Ravenna.

One of the major heresies of his age, monophysitism, held that Christ did not possess a distinct human nature in union with his eternal divine nature. Peter laboured to prevent the westward spread of this error, promoted from Constantinople by the monk Eutyches.

The Archbishop of Ravenna also made improvements to the city’s cathedral and built several new churches. Near the end of his life he addressed a significant letter to Eutyches, stressing the Pope’s authority in the monophysite controversy.

Having returned to Imola in anticipation of his death, St. Peter Chrysologus died in 450, one year before the Church’s official condemnation of monophysitism. He is credited as the author of around 176 surviving homilies, which contributed to his later proclamation as a Doctor of the Church.

Tintin : Book 3

Tintin in America is the third book in  The Adventures of Tintin series, comprisingof 24 comics created by the Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. The series was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. Tintin is the titular protagonist of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy. By 2007, a century after Hergé’s birth in 1907, Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with sales of more than 200 million copies, and had been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film.

In Tintin in America (1932), Tintin confirms his reputation as a righter of wrongs. He faces Al Capone and his gang as well as all sorts of other villains. Hergé shows his generous vision of the world as he offers a very well documented depiction of the sad plight of the Native Americans. Tintin’s fame extends beyond the Atlantic Ocean, so, when he arrives in Chicago in the middle of Prohibition, all the gangsters in the city have gathered to make sure that he gets the most uncomfortable reception. Tintin will need to use all his determination and intelligence to survive! Tintin in America is the highest-selling Tintin title of all time. It is the clear winner ahead of Tintin in the Congo and Explorers on the Moon.

Some Interesting Trivia

Tintin in America is one of the nine stories that were first published in black and white. From the ten years between 1932 and 1942, eleven editions of the book were produced. It is also the last story which was published under the Le Petit “Vingtième” label. During this period, more than 150,000 black and white Tintin books were printed, bound, distributed and sold. The book was also reworked in 1945, when Hergé began reformatting his black and white stories to create colour versions. In the new version, which appeared in 1946, many improvements were made to the illustrations.

For the background to Tintin in America, Hergé was influenced by lectures he attended and also particularly by Georges Duhamel’s book Scènes de la vie future (1930), which was openly and vehemently critical against the American lifestyle, sweeping modernisation, Taylorism, assembly line manufacturing and mass-marketing.

To accurately portray life in the USA at the time the story is set, Hergé also turned to Le Crapouillot magazine, which had published a special edition devoted to the United States.

Al Capone is the only real-life character in Tintin’s adventures to have been drawn into the story under his real name. In fact, Al Capone’s name had already been mentioned in Tintin in the Congo, as the head of an international diamond smuggling ring.

“Nowhere does Hergé’s art give such a strong impression of being directly influenced by the cinema than in the pages of Tintin in America”

Hergé made use of diverse techniques to mimic camera effects, as a way of developing the “final edit” frame by frame.

Next book in the series : Cigars of the Pharaoh.