Tuesday, October 22, 2013

St. Boethius?

In the traditional Roman Office, the Martyrology is read at Prime, the day before its entry. So today, amongst other saints, I was reminded of this saint.

Papiae in Liguria, commemoratio sancti Severini Boetii, martyris, qui, scientia ac scriptis praeclarus, in carcere detentus tractarum scripsit de consoloatione philosophiae et Deo usque ad mortem a Theodorico rege inflictam cum integritate servivit.

At Pavia in Liguria, the commemoration of St. Severinus Boethius, martyr, who, renowned for his knowledge and writing, while detained in prison wrote The Consolation of Philosophy and served God wholly even till killed by the king Theodoric. 

Many students have read The Consolation of Philosophy. Most Thomists are at least aware of his influence of St. Thomas Aquinas. But they tend to treat him the way they would Avicenna or Averröes. It may surprise them that this man is buried in the same Church as the great St. Augustine.

St. Boethius always struck me as a proto-Thomas. He anticipated, certainly, the synthesis that St. Thomas would later bring to great fruition. But he was also one of the last martyrs of an era. A Roman Senator, a subject of the Roman empire.

Benedict XVI has some poignant remarks about this holy man. Because of Boethius's unique contribution, Benedict echoes the sentiment, "Boethius was ... as the last representative of ancient Roman culture and the first of the Medieval intellectuals."

Benedict's full remarks are Here. St. Boethius, doctor and martyr, pray for us.

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