Tuesday, 27 November 2007
In an age of ambitious seeking promotion perhaps today's saint might teach a lesson ?
November 27th - St. Maximus of Riez
Born at Decomer (Châteauredon near Digne), Provence, France; died 460. Saint
Maximus was baptized in infancy and raised in a Christian home, where he lived a
reclusive life at home in order to mortify his senses and train his will.
Finally he decided to enter religious life in the community of Lérins, which was
then under the direction of its founder, Saint Honoratus. When Honoratus was
consecrated archbishop of Arles in 426, Maximus was chosen to be the second
abbot of Lérins to succeed its founder. Saint Sidonius records that the
monastery acquired a new luster because the prudent conduct and bright example
of Saint Maximus were such that the monks did not mind the severities of the
rule; they obeyed him cheerfully and quickly.
Maximus was also favoured with the gift of working miracles which supplemented
his reputation for great sanctity. So many came to consult him that he
eventually had to hide in a forest to escape those seeking to make him bishop of
Fréjus. Later he was promoted to the see of Riez in Provence and much against
his will, in 434, received the episcopal consecration from Saint Hilary. (He had
fled to the coast of Italy in an attempt to shun the dignity.) He was one of the
most prominent prelates of the church of Gaul in his time. Throughout his
episcopacy, he continued to wear his hair shirt and habit, and observe the
monastic rule as far as it was compatible with his episcopal functions.
Among the sermons wrongly attributed to Eusebius Emisenus are several now
ascribed to Saint Maximus. He attended the councils of Riez in 439, Orange I in
441, and Arles in 454. His body now rests in the cathedral of Riez, which is
dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Maximus